Taxi drivers cause havoc in Nyanga over impounded vehicles

Protesters burnt a bus and four cars, shutting down the area around the Nyanga taxi rank for two days

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One bus and four vehicles were set alight in Nyanga and Phillipi during a protest by taxi drivers over taxis that were impounded. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

Nyanga in Cape Town was brought to a standstill on Thursday and Friday in a protest by taxi drivers. The protests started after the metro police set up a roadblock on Lansdowne Road near the taxi rank. The drivers were demanding that their vehicles be released.

At the corner of Govan Mbeki road and Lansdowne Road near Marikana informal settlement, a council-owned vehicle was also set alight.

Another City and private vehicle was set alight in Philippi.

Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell condemned the acts, vandalism and intimidation by taxi operators and drivers in Nyanga.

Mitchell said the department, the office of the Provincial Transport Registrar and the Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) had been in contact with leaders of the SA National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) to reign in their members.

Mitchell said 56 minibus taxis had been impounded and several arrests were made.

On Thursday, City Traffic Service spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said 19 taxis were impounded for not having operating licenses and six were operating contrary to the conditions of their license.

Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said on Thursday three buses and a company bakkie were damaged. She said two buses had to be retrieved on Thursday from the scene after attempts were made to burn them. “Fortunately these were not successful and no one was hurt,” she said

Dyke-Beyer said the new bus that was burnt had cost R2.5 million.

A taxi driver told GroundUp that the impounding of taxis had been happening for a long time. “Drivers are tired of this, that is why they are fighting back,” he said.

CATA’s Andile Seyamo said he was unaware of the taxi driver protest and had not heard anything about taxis being impounded.

TOPICS:  Transport

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