Ekurhuleni gov tells taxi goers to make other plans

  • As talks between the City of Ekurhuleni and taxi associations broke down this week, the city is urging residents to consider alternative means of transport.
  • On Thursday, taxis across the region ceased services in protest as a bus company was awarded a government tender recently.
  • As of Friday morning, residents are reporting that taxis have resumed services.

As negotiations between the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) local government and the taxi industry have collapsed following a series of strikes this week, the city is urging commuters who normally use taxis to find other means of transport.

On Thursday, taxi associations across the CoE halted services in protest after the local government awarded a transport contract to a bus company, reports SA News.

“There was a deadlock just hours into the meeting when the taxi industry demanded the immediate release of four of their counterparts who were arrested for various offences and the release of the seven vehicles which are also impounded by the state,” said Andile Mngwevu, MMC for City of Ekurhuleni Transport Planning, Roads and Stormwater.

The taxi strike on Thursday wrought havoc on the local community, with commuters unable to travel to and from work. Tempers flared, and it is believed that two taxi drivers were shot during the protest action this week, while others have been injured.

As of Friday morning, taxis are operating again on the roads of Ekurhuleni, but it seems that the local government and the taxi industry heads are still at an impasse.

“As a city we have a direct interest on the matter. These taxi operators are our stakeholders, and we have a great working relationship. At the same time the destruction of the lives of our people cannot be acceptable,” said the MMC.

“We have an obligation to ensure that our people are provided with reliable, safe and affordable transport at all times, and thus must take precedence in our talks. So, our commitment is to end this impasse and ensure that the situation normalises as soon as possible so that everyone continues with their lives.”

In terms of what other arrangements commuters can make, there are ehailing companies like Bolt and Uber operating in the CoE. Unfortunately, as per IOL, surge pricing went into effect on Thursday as the taxis stood still, further angering residents.

One user on social media said that a ride-hailing company was charging them over R200 for a 9km trip. Another claimed that prices went from R31 to over R90.

[Image – Photo by Musa Dhlamini on Unsplash]


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