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WC's Madikizela pleads with taxi industry to halt lockdown intimidation

Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said that since the lockdown commenced last week, he'd received a number of reports of essential services workers being left stranded and unable to get to work.

The number of people at the usually buzzing Wynberg taxi rank are already dwindling on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 as South Africa prepares for a lockdown. Picture: Lizell Persens/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has pleaded with the minibus taxi industry to stop intimidating alternative transport providers and passengers finding other ways and means of getting to work.

Madikizela said that since the lockdown commenced last week, he'd received a number of reports of essential services workers being left stranded and unable to get to work.

He said he'd also received reports of minibus taxi operators refusing to allow their usual passengers to use alternative modes of transport and in some cases, violently attacking those drivers.

Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said that he was sympathetic and understood the challenges that the new regulations imposed on the minibus taxi industry.

"This is totally unacceptable and is happening despite our commitment to work together to address the challenges of the lockdown. I want to appeal to the taxi industry to work together with us as government as we face this difficult period in our country."

WATCH: Police, SANDF enforce lockdown in Cape Town

Madikizela said that he'd asked the Golden Arrow Bus Service to increase its services to provide an immediate alternative for those left stranded.

He also urgently requested that hospitals and other essential services provide his department with the details of their stranded employees.

Fewer taxis are operating than normal as the public transport lockdown regulations permit minibus taxis to carry only 8 people instead of its usual capacity of 16. During the lockdown, all public transport operators are restricted to two daily operating slots - from 5am to 9am and from 4pm to 8pm.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

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