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Gauteng taxis on strike

Commuters have been urged to make alternative arrangements as taxis will not be operating.

The Bara taxi rank in Soweto was like a ghost town during the taxi strike on 17 November 2014. Picture: @SheilaLesufi via Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of commuters have been left stranded today due to a taxi strike in Gauteng.

Taxi users have been advised to find alternative modes of transport.

Commuters say problem areas include Soweto, Alexandra and some areas in northern Johannesburg.

The Gauteng Traffic Department says the reason behind the strike is still unclear, but it appears that the stay away will affect the entire province.

Spokesman Obed Sibasa says commuters should brace themselves for severe delays.

"We hope and wish that things run smoothly and that those who are not part of the strike will be allowed to transport passengers. Often there are those who don't want to participate, but succumb to pressure from their striking counterparts."

SOME OPERATING, OTHERS NOT

There are mixed reports from commuters in and around the city about the effect the strike is having.

Motorists have been calling into the John Robbie show voicing their opinions.

"I would say there is less than half the amount of taxis," a motorist driving along Malibongwe Drive said.

Another caller from Kaya Sands said operations seemed to be running as normal, but another caller from Soweto had a different report.

"In Soweto there are no taxi's running."

The South African National Taxi Council's, Phillip Taaibosch, says his organisation is not behind the action.

"We don't know anything about this as Santaco because we did not plan a strike. If there was any serious grievances that warranted a strike, we would have advised commuters a long time ago."

REA VAYA COULD BE UNDER PRESSURE

Rea Vaya operators have warned that bus services could come under pressure today.

Officials say the BRT system faces a possible backlog of passengers.

City spokesman Benny Makgoga has pleaded with bus commuters to remain patient.

"If there won't be any taxi operations particularly during peak hours, definitely there will be major delays because our stations will then have more passengers."

SCHOOL EXAMS AFFECTED

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) says parents should make alternative arrangements to get their kids to school.

In posts on Twitter this morning, the GDE says parents should call the school to make arrangements with principals regarding exams.

A plea was also made to taxi operators to get kids to school.

#taxistrike We appeal to taxi operators to assist our learners by taking them to school @Phumla_Mthala @lesufi @DBE_SA @Abramjee

#taxistrike We urge parents to make alternative arrangemepnt for their children to get to school @Phumla_Mthala @lesufi @Abramjee @DBE_SA

#taxistrike We r very strict on matric exams. Bt we will be lenient bcos this situation affects our learners @Phumla_Mthala @lesufi @DBE_SA

Meanwhile, commuters have taken to social media to warn others of the difficulties they're facing this morning:

Please stay at home if your in Gauteng. There are no taxis at all. #taxistrike

@ewnupdates Seeing heart specialists at Bara Hospital. Got a lift from my daughter, don't know how I'm going back home. #TaxiStrike

" @TrafficSA: JHB - #TaxiStrike No taxis at Clearwater Mall"and in Soweto

Commuters Stranded at bree taxi rank #TaxiStrike @702JohnRobbie pic.twitter.com/LnXOQIylyV

Ekurhuleni metro needs to do something about the lack of transport #TaxiStrike pic.twitter.com/qChSDNwwfq

@ewnupdates Lucky me i find taxi to work Germiston to Greenstone bt long ques

@tinyiko_tim @ewnupdates only Randburg taxis seems to be commuting ... Faraday taxis are on strike

Learnt what is meant by 'ubuza ibus libhaliwe'. Took 3 busses + still walkin+-30min. #TaxiStrike #Impatcience #BitterSweetLearnings

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