Santaco chairpeson in Tshwane Xolly Tshabalala joined the police in instructing Pretoria taxi drivers to abandon protests. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) put down its foot to convince reluctant taxi operators to disengage in anti-drug protests that disturbed traffic, business and service delivery in Pretoria.

Chairperson of the organisations in Tshwane Xolly Tshabala joined forces with the police outside the Bloed Street Taxi Rank to instruct taxi operators to revert their focus to driving commuters and let law enforcement to do its job.

MMC  for Community Safety and Emergency Services Karen Meyer had criticised the actions of taxi operators who burnt shacks of foreign nationals they accused of using drugs in Marabastad on Monday.

She said their actions were disappointing and a betrayal of an agreement among herself, MMC for Roads and Transport Sheila-Lynn Senkubuge, the metro police department and various taxi associations.

Addressing angry taxi operators Tshabalala said he was giving them a directive from taxi associations that they should pullback and waited for an agreed-upon feedback about the case of slain taxi operator Jabu Baloyi.

Tshabalala said his announcement was not a negotiation but a directive from associations that came from an engagement between law enforcement and the taxi industry that Baloyi’s case would be investigated thoroughly and an update would be given to taxi operators from Friday.

Meyers said: “I’m extremely grateful for what the taxi associations have done to help stop these violence demonstrations and I hope things remain peaceful because we cannot have a situation whereby our people resort to violence to solve challenges.

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