Striking taxi drivers reach dept office

Gauteng operators are protesting against JMPD harassment, e-tolls and non-subsidisation.

Taxi drivers have now reached the transport department's offces in the Johannesburg CBD. Picture: Aurelie Kalenga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of disgruntled taxi operators have arrived at the Gauteng Roads and Transport Department in Johannesburg to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

Dozens of riot officers are guarding the entrance to the building in the city centre.

Police nylas have also been deployed and Johannesburg metro police are on the scene to assist.

Drivers embarked on an early morning strike to Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi's offices, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

Learners making their way to various schools across the province were also affected.

It appears as if routes along the N12 and M1 were worst affected by traffic jams and road closures as drivers made their way to the CBD.

Operators say they want an end to non-subsidisation, police harassment and e-tolls.

The rain has done nothing to stop taxi drivers from marching.

Drivers from all over Gauteng carried sticks and were united in song.

Their banners read, "Away with JMPD harassment, e-tolls and non-subsidisation".

It's expected that Vadi or a representative from his office will come out and accept the memorandum.

SATACO CONDEMNS MARCH

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says Monday's strike is the indirect result of government allowing too many individuals to be recognised as representatives of the industry.

The council condemned the strike, which it says was organised by a body known as the United Taxi Associations Front, joined by several smaller entities.

Santaco's Bafana Magagula says he sees no reason for the strike as the issue has already been addressed.

He says the matter was being dealt with by the Transport Department.

"We took it to government ourselves, on behalf of the very same members, who are embarking on a strike today. Certain issues regarding permits were dealt with."