Vrygrond taxi woes continue

A Vrygrond community leader says taxi drivers can’t cope with the astronomocial fines being imposed on them.

A Vrygrond community leader says taxi drivers can’t cope with the astronomocial fines being imposed on them. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Vrygrond community leader says most taxi drivers cannot afford the R11,000 to get their impounded vehicles back after the fine increased from R9,000.

According to drivers, at least 20 taxis operating without permits in the area have been impounded.

This resulted in violent clashes this week between authorities and the community.

Residents hurled rocks and other objects at officers who responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

Community leader Daniel Nomavila also accuses police of using force when another vehicle was impounded on Wednesday.

"And they have beaten the driver of the taxi they impounded. Two cases were opened. Impoundment fee was R9,000 and then it went to R11, 000."

Nomavila says cases of assault and malicious damage to property have been opened against police officers in the area.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Transport Department is looking into the taxi woes in Vrygrond.

The department's spokesperson Siphesihle Dube says they've established a task team to look into the matter.

"What we have done since is establish a taxi task team to look into the issues in Vrygrond around operations and the task team has now concluded its work and we are waiting the reports and recommendations as to how we as the department will move forward."

Residents say traffic authorities are being too hard on taxi drivers.

The residents have also rallied behind taxi drivers regarding the sharp increase in traffic fines.

Drivers who claim to earn around R400 a week say they can't afford the steep hikes.