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Cape Town taxi strike kicks off, several buses set alight

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Cape Town taxi associations and unions have come together to try and bring the Western Cape province to a halt over the expansion of the R215 million Blue Dot pilot project.

SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) is demanding the expansion of the R215 million Blue Dot pilot project, a partnership between the taxi industry and provincial government which will cease to exist by the end of the month unless more funds are pledged and invested.

Commuters in Khayelitsha woke up to burning buses and blocked roads this Monday morning, 21 November. The two-day strike promises to cause massive disruptions as several Golden Arrow buses have already been set alight.

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Last week, union federations gave notice of a nationwide shutdown on Tuesday, the second day of the two-day taxi strike.

“We reaffirm that we are going ahead with the shutdown. The government still has not engaged with us so we will continue as planned,” said Santaco deputy chairperson Nceba Enge.

Cape Town taxi strike kicks off, several buses set alight
Commuters woke up to burning buses and blocked roads this Monday morning, 21 November. Source: Twitter @Jus_t_k

“On Saturday we had a meeting with the regional chairpersons and we decided that there will be no taxis operating today and tomorrow.”

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He advised workers and pupils writing their exams to find alternative transport.

Golden Arrow Bus Services added that it would be guided by the authorities in terms of its operations.

GABS spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said: “Unfortunately we cannot predict what our services will look like at this stage as we have no foresight or control over how things will unfold.

“We will endeavour to keep our passengers as informed as possible via our Facebook page and the media.”

Both police spokesperson Novela Potelwa and Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said all enforcement services will be on alert for possible disruptions.

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Read also: Watch: 4 Golden Arrow buses, truck petrol-bombed in Cape Town

Trade unions Saftu, Fedusa and Cosatu, which has an estimated collective membership of 1.5 million members across the country, announced a national strike on Tuesday.

Labour and the government are in a seven-month deadlock over workers’ demands of a 10% salary increase, while Pretoria has stuck to its guns with a 3% unilateral offer.

SA Trucker urges all truckers to stay up to date with traffic updates and avoid the protest hotspots if they are to avoid being targeted by looters.

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