Tshwane taxi drivers block roads amid Santaco shutdown of Gauteng

Traffic officials, police, and soldiers were on the scene.

Taxis blocking the road amid a taxi strike in Gauteng by Santaco on 22 June 2020. Picture: @Boetie_majozi/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Tshwane taxi drivers on Monday morning barricaded the R80 Mabopane Highway near Soshanguve.

Traffic officials, police, and soldiers were on the scene.

Tshwane Metro Police Department spokesperson senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba saidn that several streets were being cordoned off.

“The R65 and N14 in Olievenhoutbosch. In Pretoria west, we have streets like WF Nkomo St and Kalafong Road… and in Soshanguve,” he said.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said that it regretted leaving commuters stranded.

Spokesperson Thabiso Molelekwa said that they wanted about R5 billion from government, which was far from what was being offered currently.

“Initially, operators had mandated us to negotiate for about R20,000 per taxi. We are also alive to the fact that that could possibly be too much. We are willing to negotiate that,” he said.

Santaco was expected to meet again with the Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula later this week.

COMMUTERS AND MOTORISTS INTIMIDATED

Meanwhile, commuters and motorists said that they were intimidated by striking taxi drivers in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

“The taxi drivers have blocked roads and they’re telling us to go back home because if we continue ahead, they’re going to damage our cars,” said one motorist.

Another said: “They're burning tyres on the roads and not allowing us to pass.”

Molelekwa strongly condemned the violence.

“This is contrary to what we agreed on. We have sent people to engage with the leadership of Gauteng to assist the situation because it is not helping. This is not how you express your dissatisfaction,” he said.

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