Vadi: Striking taxi drivers raise legitimate concerns

The MEC says around 1,200 taxi drivers are still waiting for renewed operating permits.

FILE: Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi inspects upgrades made on Metrorail trains in Soweto. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi says there are around 1,200 taxi drivers still waiting for renewed operating permits and the delay has been caused by a verification process with the national department.

Drivers belonging to the United Taxi Associations Front staged a protest in the province yesterday after saying without the permits they would not be eligible for e-tolling exemptions.

Operators blocked parts of the N12 east and M1 north highways near the Southgate Shopping Centre.

They are also demanding the right to use the Rea Vaya rapid bus transit routes but the department says that will not happen.

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

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

Vadi said the drivers waiting for permits to be renewed have raised legitimate concerns.

"Once the expiry date sets in, the national permit system shuts down that particular number and license. To reactive that means we have to reapply to the National Department of Transport and that process takes time."