Joe Slovo taxi drivers to continue pressuring City of CT for permits

Drivers say they fear losing out on business due to the roll out of the MyCiti Bus service system.

Police were called to quell a violent demonstration being led by taxi drivers in Cape Town and a fire truck was also stoned on 15 March 2016. Picture: Natalie Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Some taxi drivers who work near the Joe Slovo informal settlement say they will continue to pressure the City of Cape Town to approve their operating licences.

They fear they stand to lose out on business due to the roll out of the MyCiti Bus service in the area.

Violent protests erupted in the area yesterday over the issue.

Traffic came to a grinding halt when a group of taxi drivers took to the streets in a violent protest against the MyCiti Bus service.

Demonstrators threatened bus drivers and torched several vehicles, as well as a MyCiti bus stop.

Aggrieved drivers said they simply want the right to operate legally.

"We're just asking for that permission to also operate. Why is it that only we can't operate alongside the buses?"

Some say they are forced to work without the required permits, alleging they have been locked out of talks related to roll out of the bus service in the area.

SOUTHERN SUBURBS ROUTE

At the same time, the City plans to introduce two new MyCiTi routes that will see the bus service expanded to Wynberg and Claremont.

Mayco member for Transport Brett Herron, made the announcement at the council's mayoral committee meeting at the Civic Centre.

Mayco has approved Herron's recommendation to take the proposal to council for a vote.

Approval by council will allow the city to introduce a Mitchells Plain-Claremont route as well as a service that runs from Khayelitsha to Wynberg.

Herron says they will hold off on the Wynberg route because of litigation.

"In the meantime, there's no reason why communities, for example, who want to travel Claremont should be waiting for this process to conclude. We've got a lot of detailed design to do and we need to start construction."

Progress on the Wynberg route is being held up by a court challenge brought by a group of residents from South Road who are opposed to the project.