Soweto taxi rank shutdown: Taxi bosses concerned about livelihoods

One taxi boss says one day is already too long as this means too many people will not have food on their tables.

Police officers monitor the Phefeni section in Soweto to ensure safety and that no taxi operates on the disputed routes. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – As Friday marks the second day of a planned month-long shutdown of five taxi ranks in Soweto, taxi bosses say although they will respect government, they are more concerned about their livelihoods and those of their workers.

Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi’s office has officially stopped operations from using these taxi ranks on Thursday, saying it is because of an ongoing dispute about routes between the Wata and Nanduwe taxi associations.

The government says that more than a dozen people have been killed as a result.

Taxi bosses in Soweto say that they understand that there is a serious problem regarding the lives and safety of taxi drivers and commuters but are hoping that the government will not close taxi ranks until next month.

A taxi boss says that one day is already too long, as this means that too many people will not have food on their tables.

“With the ranks closed, we’re the ones who suffer but most of all our customers suffer the most, they are unable to get from point A to B, unable to get to work.”

He says that even commuters will be very badly inconvenienced.

Vadi’s office says it plans to shut down operations at the five taxi ranks until 13 August unless the Wata and Nanduwa associations come to a long-term sustainable and safe solution.

(edited by Leeto M Khoza)