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Stranded eThekwini commuters lament suspension of taxis during lockdown

The eThekwini Metro Taxi Council announced that it would be suspending all its operations during the nationwide lockdown.

Commuters disembark from a taxi. Picture: 123rf

DURBAN - Stranded taxi commuters in Durban on Friday lashed out at the eThekwini Municipality and the eThekwini Metro Taxi Council (EMTC).

The EMTC announced that it would be suspending all its operations during the nationwide lockdown.

The eThekwini Municipality hailed the decision, saying it assisted in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 but commuters said they were unfairly inconvenienced.

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city’s bus fleet was made available for those needing transport.

But Ayanda Khumalo, a taxi commuter, said she was stranded for two hours.

“There are no buses or any transport in town and it’s affecting me because I can’t go home right now. My family is expecting me to come home with groceries, but I’m stuck here,” she said.

Another commuter Zama Mthembu said the taxi council should have warned commuters earlier that it would suspend its operations.

“I woke up early in the morning to go to the hospital to collect my daughter’s medication, but now I’m here stranded and hungry,” she said.

Many in eThekwini have told Eyewitness News that if the public transport impasse was not resolved it would be difficult for order to be maintained in the city during the nationwide lockdown.