Commuters in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, say the taxi strike will affect them financially as they will have to fork out more on alternative modes of transport to get to work.
Members of the National Taxi Alliance is leading thousands of taxi operators that have downed tools to protest against delays in disbursing the government’s COVID-19 relief fund, leaving commuters in several Gauteng areas stranded.
In July this year, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula had announced that the taxi industry would be given more than R1 billion to compensate for the impact that lockdown regulations have had on their business.
Promise Njali says she will spend five times than her usual fare to get to work.
“The problem is that today (Wednesday) they just gave us the short notice yesterday (Tuesday) saying the taxis are not going to work today. They are in shut down because the government didn’t pay them the money that they want and that today they can’t take us to work. Really we are struggling very badly. Some people didn’t even manage to go to work because they don’t have money for Taxify. Now I have to take Taxify to go to work where I have to use R100 to go to work. When I’m using normal taxi it’s R20.”
The City of Tshwane has suspended its bus services after one of its drivers was hijacked on Wednesday morning in the Orchards area, north of Pretoria, allegedly by members of the National Taxi Alliance.
Commuters were forced out of the bus, while the bus driver managed to flee the scene during the hijacking.
Earlier, taxi operators blockaded the busy N1 north freeway at the 14th Avenue offramp, in the west of Johannesburg.
In June, Gauteng taxi drivers went on strike in response to government’s coronavirus relief support for owners:
In the video below, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announces relief for the taxi industry: