Reports of intimidation in taxi strike

Taxi drivers are protesting against government's failure to issue them with permits.

The Germiston taxi rank without any taxis during a taxi driver protest on 3 February 2014. Picture:@Masechaba89 via Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Reports are emerging this morning of non-striking taxi drivers being pulled over by their colleagues and forcing them to abandon passengers.

Hundreds of commuters have been left stranded this morning as members of the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) have announced that they will not be operating.

Taxis parked off on the left while commuters remain stranded on the right during a taxi driver protest outside the Bree Street taxi rank in Johannesburg CBD on 3 February 2014. Picture: @Mokgomogne via Twitter.

The Bree Street taxi rank in Johannesburg CBD without any taxis during a taxi driver protest on 3 February 2014. Picture: @Mokgomogne via Twitter.

A commuter told Eyewitness News that the taxi he was travelling in this morning was stopped and the driver ordered to join the protest.

NTA spokesperson Theo Malele has condemned these actions.

"The protest march is a peaceful one. No one has the right to intimidate another person if they don't share the same view."

Taxi drivers are protesting against government's failure to issue them with operating permits, which they claim has made them liable to pay for e-tolls.

A march has been planned to the Department of Transport offices in Pretoria where a memorandum of demands will be handed over to Minister Dipuo Peters.

Malele accused the government of failing the taxi industry by not issuing them with permits.

"We are black owned and controlled businesses and instead of being supported we're being oppressed."

Malele says the failure to issue them with permits has affected their businesses.

"How do you run a business without permits? The operating permit is our livelihood."

The taxi alliance expects over 10,000 taxi drivers to participate in today's march.

The South African National Taxi Council says they are not involved in the protest.