JOHANNESBURG– Taxi operators shut down Hammanskraal on Wednesday morning as they continued with their protests over not being allowed to enter the Central Business District.
Commuters were left stranded as the different organisations and the city officials tried to find an amicable solution to the impasse.
The agreement with the City of Tshwane sees commuters from Hammanskraal being dropped off at Rainbow Junction Station in Wonderboom to board A Re Yeng buses to the CBD. The different taxi associations said they were supposed to be compensated for the remainder of the trip.
The protest comes just a few weeks after an A Re Yeng bus was hijacked allegedly by taxi operators and taken to Hammanskraal. The city has called for calm and restraint.
The city said Member of the Mayoral Committee for Roads and Transport Sheila Senkubuge was in Hammanskraal with a team of officials to resolve the situation. A group of commuters marched to Tshwane House on Monday, 5 February, and handed a memorandum of demands to the leadership of the City.
“We are here to engage the relevant parties and get to the bottom of what could have triggered this. We were of the view that following Monday’s protest action, a channel had been opened for us to engage with the various taxi associations in order to find lasting solutions,” said Senkubuge.
She said the City of Tshwane previously entered into an agreement with taxi associations operating along the Hammanskraal, Rainbow Junction public transport facility and the CBD. Following the introduction of the Are Yeng Bus Transit System between Rainbow Junction and the Tshwane CBD, minibus taxi operators were compensated for the loss of revenue, she added.
“The agreement is that they ferry passengers from Hammanskraal and drop them off at Rainbow Junction wherein they will board Are Yeng Bus Transit system to various parts of the CBD. It has since been brought to our attention that some taxi operators are not adhering to this agreement. We have been engaging with the operators to ensure that they meet their end of the agreement,” said Senkubuge.
She said the city was confident that a lasting, mutually beneficial solution would be found in the best interest of providing an efficient, reliable, affordable and safe public transport service to residents.