The Gauteng Traffic Police has strongly condemned violent incidents which have broken out, during the taxi strike in the province.
The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) led a march to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s office and the Presidency in Tshwane at the Union Buildings. This was to issue a memorandum of demands, which include fast-tracking the payout of the COVID-19 relief fund
“The Gauteng Traffic Police would like to issue a stern warning against taxi operators who are causing unnecessary obstruction on our roads. While we recognize that picketing is a constitutional right of every citizen, obstruction on a public road constitutes a traffic offence and is therefore punishable by law. The Gauteng Traffic Police and various law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to act against any form of lawlessness on our roads,’’ said Gauteng Traffic Police Spokesperson Sello Maremane.
“The strike has a negative impact on our economy since Gauteng is the economic hub of our country. Taxi operators have avenues they can explore to raise their concerns instead of resorting to intimidation and blockage of roads,”
Gauteng Traffic Police Spokesperson Sello Maremane.
Motorists urged to be careful on the roads
Motorists have been advised to drive with caution as the following roads have been affected by obstruction as a result of protest action by taxi operators.
• R80 Mabopane Freeway, from Transfer Taxi Rank until at the 3 way crossing
• R573 Moloto Road, Cullinan crossing
• Soweto Highway North bound
• N1 between Buccleuch interchange and Samrand off ramp, North bound
• R21 between Olifantsfontein and Irene off ramp, North bound
• N1 Sefako Makgatho off ramp, North bound
There have been a number of reported incidents, particularly in Tshwane, of people being subjected to violence and intimidation. In one clip shared on social media, people are kicked off a City of Tshwane bus, by protestors.
While in another incident, a bus was hijacked in Orchards, north of the capital. This prompted the city to halt its bus services over security concerns.
The NTA subsequently called on law enforcement officers to intervene.
“We do not condone that, this is not what we agreed on. We agreed that we will lead the roads to Pretoria, where we will present our grievances and this we will do peacefully. This is not in our nature,” said the body’s Theo Malele.