16 August 2017

South Africa: Tshwane Roads, Railway Lines Blocked and Cars Pelted in Taxi Protest

Taxi drivers embarked on illegal protest action in Tshwane on Wednesday morning, blocking several roads and railway lines and pelting passing cars with rocks.

Police said several roads in Mabopane, Ga-Rankuwa, Soshanguve as well as the Mabopane highway have been blocked by taxis.

Police were also present in Mamelodi where the taxi strike was supposed to originate from. Apart from attempts to block roads earlier this morning, main routes in and out of Mamelodi have not been blocked or obstructed and taxis in that area were operating as normal.

Bonny Ndjishe, the secretary of the Mamelodi Amalgamated Taxi Association told News24 their services are operating as normal to ensure people get to work. He said they were also monitoring the roads to make sure no criminal elements emerge during the protest.

Metrorail train services operating from Mabopane to Soshanguve have also been suspended as taxi drivers blocked the railway lines with rocks and rubble. At the Pienaarspoort level crossing in Mamelodi, protesters blocked the line with burning tyres and branches.

"It is unfortunate that trains and the railway environment is always targeted as and when protesters express their dissatisfaction on issues that have nothing to do with Metrorail services and inconvenience thousands of commuters," said metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng,

Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) said the protest was illegal as drivers did not have any applications to protest.

Taxi drivers are expected to make their way to Tshwane House in CBD to hand over a memorandum complaining about law enforcement handing them tickets which prevent them from renewing their licenses.


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