Mthatha Taxi Strike Haulted Until Further Notice, Says SANTACO

Mthatha Taxi Strike Haulted Until Further Notice, Says SANTACO

  • In response to escalating tensions from taxi drivers blocking key roads in Mthatha, additional police forces were dispatched, disrupting special voting
  • SANTACO confirmed the indefinite suspension of the taxi strike, which was sparked by police confiscating firearms, leading to road closures and looting
  • Despite the unrest, authorities and the IEC are working to ensure the voting process continues smoothly

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Reitumetse Makwea is a current affairs journalist with Briefly News from Pretoria, Gauteng. She brings over five years of expertise to the newsroom, specialising in political reporting, crime, and community safety initiatives.

The Mthatha taxi strike led to looting
The Mthatha taxi strike, which led to the looting of several trucks, has been halted for now, according to SANTACO. Images: @EFFEASTERNCAPE.
Source: Twitter

In response to escalating tensions, additional police forces were dispatched to Mthatha on Tuesday after taxi drivers took to the streets, blocking key entrances and exits.

The protest disrupted Monday's first day of special voting, preventing over 100 voting stations from opening.

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Taxi strike suspended until further notice

Speaking to EWN, The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) confirmed that the strike by taxi operators in the Eastern Cape has been suspended indefinitely.

The suspension follows significant disruption and unrest in the OR Tambo region, which saw road closures, the suspension of school activities, and the looting of trucks.

The protest action in Mthatha was reportedly sparked by police actions last week, which involved the confiscation of firearms from taxi drivers as part of an ongoing investigation into taxi violence.

The taxi violence led to the loss of lives

This violence previously resulted in the deaths of two individuals and injuries to 18 others.

"SANTACO was not part of the taxi strike, let me clarify that. Today [Tuesday] there will be no protests."

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Bishop Yolelo, SANTACO's Eastern Cape chairperson. He emphasised that a taxi association undertook the protest without the council's prior knowledge.

In the wake of Monday’s unrest, SANTACO apologised to those affected, acknowledging the inconvenience and chaos caused by the demonstrations.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) reported that despite the initial challenges, they remain on track to conclude the special voting process.

"Majority of voting stations that were unable to open in the OR Tambo region were directly affected by the taxi violence."

They assured the public that efforts are underway to ensure the voting process proceeds smoothly in the coming days.

The OR Tambo District Municipality's mayor also called for calm amidst the ongoing tensions.

Police will remain on the ground

Meanwhile, law enforcement remains vigilant and prepared to respond to further outbreaks of violence to maintain peace and order in the province.

As the situation develops, authorities and community leaders work together to resolve the issues and ensure that the electoral process can continue without further disruptions.

Read also

Special voting kickstarts crucial election week in South Africa

Protesters blocking several roads across Durban

Briefly News reported that protesters, primarily taxi drivers, have blocked several major roads in Durban, including the N3 highway, causing significant traffic disruptions on 24 May.

Similar blockades occurred on the N2 near Port Shepstone on 23 May, likely in response to police impounding taxi vehicles.

Source: Briefly News

Reitumetse Makwea avatar

Reitumetse Makwea (Editor) Reitumetse Makwea is a Current Affairs journalist at Briefly News. She has a National diploma, Advanced diploma and Post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. She first worked as a student journalist and freelancer for Caxton's Record Noweto and later joined The Citizen News, where she worked for a little over 3 years covering politics, environmental news, business, education, and health. Reitumetse joined Briefly News in 2024. Email:

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