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Mamelodi taxi drivers urged to claim back their vehicles

Gauteng Safety MEC says some of the taxis impounded in Mamelodi this week have been returned.

Mamelodi Taxi Association said if their demands are not met, they will organise a provincial halt to taxi operation. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane says some of the taxis impounded in Mamelodi last week have been returned after government reached an agreement with taxi associations and commuter organisations.

Taxi drivers halted services on Thursday accusing government of impounding 55 taxis unfairly.

The vehicles were taken after violent protests against the introduction of Autopax to replace Putco.

They've now paid fines and produced the necessary paper work to secure the release of the vehicles.

Nkosi-Malobane says some taxi owners still need to come forward to claim their vehicles.

"There were quite a number of taxis that were impounded, we took a decision to release them today and 31 of them were released and they paid fines."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, the National Taxi Alliance announced that a province-wide stay away would not go ahead and taxi operations would resume.

Thousands of commuters were however left stranded in the Pretoria east township on Thursday after drivers withdrew services over the impounding of some of their taxis this week.

ACT OF HOOLIGANISM

Last week, the City of Tshwane described the attacks on Autopax buses in Mamelodi as 'acts of hooliganism that borders on anarchy'.

The city met with the transport department and taxi drivers on Wednesday but failed to broker a deal to end the protests sparked by Putco's decision to cancel its service there.

At least four buses were stoned, allegedly by taxi drivers, and others couldn't drive through the township due to roads being blocked with rubble.

On Friday Putco confirmed that five people were shot and wounded on one of its buses in Mamelodi.

The driver was shot in the stomach before a suspect shot four passengers.

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