[UPDATE] Cape Town taxi strike called off

A Cape Town woman says she’ll lose one day’s pay because she couldn’t travel to work due to the taxi strike.

A Golden Arrow bus was torched in the Delft area on 18 September 2017. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The disruptive and violent taxi strike has been called off in the Cape. This follows a meeting between representatives from the taxi industry and the provincial Transport Department.

Taxi owners were aggrieved by Santaco leadership in the province as well as the impounding of taxis.

Taxi bosses halted services in the province on Monday morning over leadership concerns and the impounding of their vehicles, affecting thousands of commuters.

There's a heavy police presence in Delft and surrounding areas.

Police had cordoned off a section of the road leading to the local taxi rank.

Residents said the strike has left them stranded.

“I couldn’t go to work. I had to walk from Suburban and it’s about 7km. My company sent someone to fetch us, but they couldn’t stand here for long.”

Another woman shared her frustrations.

“I can’t make it to work and won’t be able to get that money for the day.”

LISTEN: Taxi strike 'damaging' to Western Cape economy - Transport economist

The demonstration turned violent earlier, with a MyCiTi and Golden Arrow bus torched. Several other buses and vehicles were also targeted.

Tyres were also set alight on Oliver Tambo Road and Jakes Gerwel Drive.

Meanwhile, Cosatu's Tony Ehrenreich has accused the provincial government of failing to be proactive about the troubles in the industry.

“Cosatu hopes the violence associated with the strike will be dealt with firmly. We call for an urgent solution to the matter so that public transport can be resumed.”

150 BUS WINDOWS STONES

Meanwhile, the Golden Arrow Bus Service says at least 150 bus windows were stoned during this morning's protests.

The company will be running a limited service on Monday afternoon and delays are expected.

Golden Arrow's Bronwyn Dyke-Beyer says: “There was a bus that was burnt out. There were also some passenger and driver injuries as a result of stoning incidents. Unfortunately, it’s also been so chaotic out on the roads. But our buses have been trapped. They haven’t been where they need to be. We weren’t able to access two of our depots.”

SCHOOLING AFFECTED

At the same time, the provincial Education Department says district officials and principals remain in constant contact with law enforcement.

Education MEC spokesperson Jessica Shelver says: “If necessary, some schools may close early in the interest of learner and educator safety. This will, however, be done on a case-by-case assessment by the principal. In terms of exams and assessments, schools that have been significantly impacted by today’s strike action may decide to reschedule their exams and assessments.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)