Cape Town – Taxi operators have remained adamant that their fines and warrants be scrapped as more disruptions to traffic are anticipated this week.
This comes after taxi drivers last week blocked major exit routes from the CBD, causing major peak-hour traffic backlogs. Twenty-six taxis were impounded.
Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said that although there was no confirmation of disruptions yet, they were anticipating further action this week.
“There are rumours going about which have not yet been confirmed, but we try to anticipate as best we can,” said Smith.
He has approached MEC for Transport and Public Works Bonginkosi Madikizela to engage with taxi operators.
“I have met with the taxi associations before, but the talks were not productive. The engagement that needs to happen must be on a licensed and regulatory level. We can’t exempt people from enforcement. I don’t have the figures for the number of fines issued as this figure is never static.
“I can, however, say that the figures owed by taxi operators is proportionately large, and this is due to them spending more time on the roads and other factors, including not paying other fines,” said Smith.
On Friday afternoon drivers blocked Nelson Mandela Boulevard, the Cape Town station deck and Raapenberg Road, while tyres were set alight at Bunga Avenue.
Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association spokesperson Andile Soyama said they were frustrated by exorbitant and “unnecessary” fines.
“This is a really frustrating issue and we want our voices to be heard by the authorities,” said Soyama.
“Blocking all major roads was the only way that we could make our voices heard and make authorities sit up and listen.”
The Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations spokesperson, Besuthu Ndungane, said he could not confirm if engagements with authorities would be taking place this week.
Source: Cape Times