- Commuters around Gauteng have been left stranded as the taxi industry embarks on a strike
- The taxi industry has rejected a R1.135 billion relief offer from the government and are demanding significantly more - R10 billion
- Some commuters who fear losing their jobs have begun to walk to work, adamant that their financial desperation outweighs the strain and inconvenience of the situation
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Thousands of taxi commuters have been left stranded as taxi associations across Gauteng carried out their promise to shut down on Monday.
Last week the taxi industry snubbed the R1.135 billion bailout offered by the government, demanding more money.
Taxi ranks across the country are also empty and taxis have either not shown up or are at blockades, reported The South African.
READ ALSO: Fikile Mbalula announces relief packages for the transport industry
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has been in several negotiations with the taxi bosses who are demanding R10 billion.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mbalula informed the taxi industry that there simply isn't enough money in the government budget to accommodate their demands.
On Monday morning, taxi drivers blocked Mabopane Highway on the R80, blocking all traffic. SANDF soldiers and police were deployed to the scene.
The Sowetan said that some commuters have had to walk to their work places as they might get in trouble if they do not show up.
Mike Dube was one of those who braved the cold and began to walk to work. He said:
"I left home at 4am. I have been walking for over an hour, I am still going to walk for about one hour, 30 minutes. I am coming from Buccleuch and I am headed to Parkhurst. What they are striking for is a just cause but on the other hand we are struggling. They have to think for us. Everyone is a victim of Covid-19."
Dube said he has lost income due to the lockdown and fortunately resumed work again. He added that he cannot afford to be absent due to the strike.
While some users on Twitter have taken the side of the taxi industry, some have criticised their actions, claiming that they aren't the only ones affected and that many South Africans have also lost income.
Mbalula described the strike as counter-productive.
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