Soweto taxi commuters fear for their safety

The Gauteng government on Thursday shut down five taxi ranks in Soweto because of a dispute between the Wata and Nanduwe taxi associations over routes.

Police officers are seen around the Phefeni section to ensure safety and that no taxi operates on the disputed routes. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Taxi commuters in Soweto say they are growing increasingly anxious about their safety because of deadly taxi industry feuds that have been left to go on for too long.

The Gauteng government on Thursday shut down five taxi ranks in Soweto because of a dispute between the Wata and Nanduwe taxi associations over routes.

Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi’s office says it plans to keep the taxi ranks closed until next month.

Some residents say that taxi drivers simply have no regard for human life.

One woman says she’s had enough.

“We’d like to ask our government to intervene because this is serious. We’re pleading with them to help us.”

One man says he is frustrated.

“Whatever destination that we’re heading to, it’s very painful to not know whether you going to come back alive or safe because at the end of the day, these people just shoot randomly, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a passenger or you’re outside the taxi.”

The residents say that what makes them even more frustrated is that they have no other choice but to use taxis to travel.