Taxi chaos in Tshwane as drivers block roads over Covid-19 relief payouts
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Pretoria - The National Taxi Alliance has organised a march to the Presidency at the Union Buildings today which has resulted in chaos in various parts of the city. They will be issuing a memorandum of demands which include a payout of the Covid-19 relief fund.
In Ga-Rankuwa north of the city roads were blocked while traffic was also at a standstill on the N1 north.
Taxis are also gathering at the Tshwane bus depot in the Pretoria city centre.
The roads in and around Pretoria east were unusually calm.
Lynnwood Road, leading to the N1 and Simon Vermooten Road leading to the N4 were relatively empty with very few vehicles seemingly heading to the centre of town.
The N4-highway offramp at Simon Vermooten Road as well as the highway itself were free flowing.
Simon Vermooten Road heading towards Mamelodi, as well as Solomon Mahlangu Drive heading from Lynnwood towards Mamelodi were relatively deserted.
There were early morning reports of a taxi blockade at the corner Solomon Mahlangu Drive and Atterbury Road, but this was cleared within 10 minutes and the traffic was flowing freely once again.
The City of Tshwane meanwhile withdrew its buses, leaving commuters stranded.
It said it condemned the hijacking of one of its buses this morning in the Orchards area, north of Pretoria.
Threats were made by taxi drivers towards the bus drivers.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has meanwhile said those writing matric caught up in the chaos can write their exams at any school close to them. They can also arrive up to an hour late and buses have been told to transport them at no cost.
MMC Dikeledi Selowa said they held a meeting on Tuesday with the taxi drivers where the industry undertook to protest peacefully.
“Their actions go against the letter and spirit of the right to protest as enshrined in the Constitution,” she said.
Selowa said they had to take the decision to recall their buses to protect their assets and safeguard the lives of drivers and commuters.