Explainer: Why are Johannesburg taxis striking again, leaving commuters stranded?

Explainer: Why are Johannesburg taxis striking again, leaving commuters stranded?

- Commuters in Alexandra, Johannesburg were left stranded on Monday after 500 taxis were impounded

- This led two taxi associations to announce a one-day strike on Monday

- The associations cited the impoundment of vehicles, petrol price increases and the removal of license disks as reasons for the one-day strike

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Hundreds of early morning commuters were left angry and frustrated on Monday morning when they were left stranded by yet another taxi strike. Commuters in Alexandra, Johannesburg were left scratching their heads after around 500 taxis were impounded, this led to two taxi associations announcing a one-day strike scheduled for Monday.

The Alexandra Randburg, Midrand and Sandton Taxi Association (ARMSTA), and the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA) released a statement early on Monday morning announcing that it would embark on a one-day shutdown on Monday to protest certain unfair treatment of the industry.

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The associations said it hoped that by pulling all its vehicles from service for a day it would alert Transport Minister Blade Nzimande to the plight and blatantly unfair treatment of members of the taxi industry.

Briefly.co.za gathered that the association cited the impoundment of vehicles, the dramatic rise in petrol price and the removal of license disks as its main concerns.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar rubbished claims that the JMPD unfairly targeted the taxi industry and said the reason the JMPD impounded vehicles was to protect the safety of commuters.

IOL.co.za reported that Minnaar confirmed that more than 500 taxis had been impounded by the JMPD. He said multiple reports had indicated that some taxi drivers did not comply with the rules of the road and often times drove in the emergency lanes and operated their vehicles erratically.

He also said many taxis were operated without the proper license disks and paperwork. Minnaar said JMPD officers would be keeping a close eye on taxis at all times to ensure they fully complied with the law and operated in a safe manner.

Commuters travelling from Alexandra to Randburg, Midrand, Woodmead, Sandton and Modderfontein were hardest hit by the sudden strike.

Some commuters such as Mbuyiseni Zulu are in support of the action taken by the JMP. He said he grew up using taxis which were obviously not roadworthy and or safe and said the time for action was now. Zulu said, unfortunately, the JMPD’s action led to inconvenience for him and his fellow commuters, but he said it would be worth it if his children did not have to travel in unsafe vehicles.

Another commuter was spitting fire at the taxi association’s lack of communications. Nompumelelo Nkosi said she had no idea about the planned strike and now faced the difficult task of phoning her employer and explaining why she could not come to work.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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