WATCH: Ga-Rankuwa taxi drivers stage peaceful protest
Pretoria - Despite the country being on the verge of a national shutdown in less than 72hours, Ga-Rankuwa taxi drivers have embarked on a peaceful protest.
Taxis in their numbers could be seen parked at the taxi rank, with residents left to carpool, hitchhike or find alternative modes of transport in order to make their way to work.
Roads leading into and out of the community were not barricaded and private cars were allowed to move around freely without any hiccups.
Taxis from the Erasmia Taxi Association were also allowed into the community to pick up a few commuters.
Speaking to some taxi drivers stationed at the taxi rank, many said they were concerned about how they will be affected by the national shutdown that president Cyril Ramaphosa announced last night.
However, the drivers said the main reason they were protesting was due to illegitimate taxis that were operating in Mmakau, Ga-Rankuwa.
According to the drivers they had for months tried to alert authorities to the illegal taxis which were squashing up to 30 passengers into 15-seater minibus taxis at R10 per person.
“Even though our organisation makes sure each of us have the necessary documents needed, we are still constantly harassed by the police.”
“Meanwhile those taxis which are driving along the Brits road overloaded with passengers and are being allowed to continue operating with no problems.”
A taxi driver who requested not to be named, said the illegal taxis started running shortly after the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa announced the suspension of trains running along the Mabopane railway line in January.
He said initially all of the commuters reliant on the train used their taxis, but as time went on they started disappearing.
“That is how we found out about the illegal taxis taking people in huge loads without the necessary documents needed.
"With the shutdown approaching, we will be even further affected that is why we want something done.”
Association leaders were said to be in meetings to find a way forward.