Taxi drivers march to MEC's offices

The drivers will deliver a memorandum of grievances and demands after embarking on a one day strike.

Taxi operators march through the streets of Johannesburg CBD on 17 November 2014. Picture: Aurelie Kalanga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Striking Gauteng taxi drivers are making their way to the provincial transport MEC's offices in the Johannesburg CBD where they will hand over a memorandum of grievances and demands after embarking on a one day strike.

The rain has not deterred hundreds of taxi operators from marching through the CBD in protest against the e-tolling system and the reinstatement of their permits.

Picture: Aurelie Kalanga/EWN

A protester says their demands are very simple.

"We are supporting our structure because we are suffering with e-tolling."

Dressed in white t-shirts which reads "no e-tolls" and "we want our permits" the taxi drivers say this is the only way government will hear them.

There is a heavy police presence as the operators approach the MEC's offices.

Picture: Aurelie Kalanga/EWN

Drivers downed their keys and disrupted services this morning causing congestion on the N12 highway.

The protest is against e-tolls and driver permits.

Taxi owners say they've had several run-ins with police leading to their permits being confiscated and they're now saying enough is enough.

The Bara taxi rank in Soweto is quiet as a taxi strike is underway in Gauteng. Picture: @ShielaLesufi

They say whenever they buy new vehicles, their old permits are not transferred and this leads to run-ins with Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).

They're also demanding the scrapping of the e-toll system and the immediate reinstatement of their permits.

Commuters in parts of the province have had to find alternative transport due to the strike.

Drivers say this is the only way to get through to government about their grievances.

Some taxi drivers who are not officially part of today's strike say they've also decided to stay off the roads in solidarity with their colleagues.

CHAOS ON ROADS

Thousands of commuters were forced to find alternative transport this morning.

Anger mounted on roads as motorists and stranded commuters faced the effects of the taxi strike.

Earlier, operators blocked parts of the N12 east and M1 north highways near the Southgate Shopping Centre.

There have also been reports of none-striking taxi drivers being intimidated and fleeing their vehicles.

Picture: M.Ismail

This morning, commuters took to Twitter to vent their frustration and also issue warnings to other commuters of which areas to avoid:

@ewnupdates #TaxiStrike Absolutely terrible in Soweto Glen area vans are giving us lifts taxi drivers ar stoping nd taking us out...Furious

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

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

@ewnupdates Taxis blocking the road by Diepkloof #TaxiStrike

@ewnupdates three thugs on Jan Smuts by M1 offramp intimidating a taxi driver who fled his vehicle.

Writing at 09:h00 & there are no taxi. I am at end of the queue eish #TaxiStrike pic.twitter.com/EBRJ4WxISp

@ewnupdates highway blocked totally at Shakespeare bridge avoid m1 north