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Mbalula condemns Gauteng taxi drivers' strike

Customers are expected to arrange alternative transport to return home on Monday afternoon with the expectation of similar morning scenes playing out.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has condemned the Gauteng taxi industry shutdown, which left many commuters stranded.

Customers are expected to arrange alternative transport to return home on Monday afternoon with the expectation of similar morning scenes playing out.

Some commuters claim that they were intimidated on Monday morning by the strikers resulting in the deployment of police and soldiers to defuse tensions and to assist with directing traffic.

Mbalula was speaking in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, following violent clashes between drivers and the police on Monday morning.

“We have amended the times in terms of the operation of the taxi industry and are now operating 24/7. We are now looking at full capacity, including with long-distance travels," he said.

He also appealed to taxi operators to stop violence and hold peaceful talks.

Mbalula condemned the strike: “And I can’t run away from the taxi industry, we must talk and I must lay my cards open and tell them that this is doable and this is not doable.”

Tension they ran high when the minister spoke to taxi drivers, who warned that they would operate on a full load in each taxi.

Mbalula left the area but said he would be meeting taxi bosses on Wednesday.

Thousands of commuters have been left stranded due to a shutdown organised by the South African National Taxi Council.

The organisation has rejected government’s R1.1 billion COVID-19 package.

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