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If you’re in Johannesburg, Pretoria or surrounds today, you might want to stay at home. Or at the very least, avoid major highways.
Santaco (South African National Taxi Council) members have hit the roads with strike action in mind. From as early as 3.30am Thursday morning, members parked their vehicles in key intersections on major arterial routes across the province.
The strike’s reportedly in response to high interest rates and steep repayments taxi operators are required to pay to the SA Taxi Finance company.
Some of the routes most affected includes the N1 in Midrand and the R21 in Kempton Park leading out of OR Tambo International Airport.
Although we’ve seen a number of other hashtags and search strings related to the taxi strike, #TaxiStrike itself began trending (ironically) in Cape Town around 6am Thursday.
Affected users in Gauteng have since used the hashtag as a mouthpiece, to voice frustrations, post pictures of the traffic, and publish the odd viral image.
— Romi Appel (@Romi_Appel) June 15, 2017
— Amukelani Bilankulu (@amukelanibl) June 15, 2017
— STOLEN CARS RSA (@stolencarRSA) June 15, 2017
— Abigail Javier (@AbigailJavier_) June 15, 2017
— Matty (@mattyEmedic) June 15, 2017
Boss: why didn’t you come work
— Amour’s Mom❤️️ (@MyPule_) June 15, 2017
Although the roads are blocked, other services including Metrorail and Gautrain are affected.
Due to major roads being blocked employees are unable to reach the various stations. As a result, there is no Gautrain bus service.
— Gautrain (@TheGautrain) June 15, 2017
— 😘😘Miss B😘😘 (@Basetsana_M) June 15, 2017
— Jesus Maake (@MphoMaake21) June 15, 2017
Routes into Africa’s busiest airport, OR Tambo International, have also been affected.
“[P]rotest action of this nature is not entirely predictable and passengers scheduled to depart from the airport on Thursday should make every effort to give themselves more time to get to the airport,” said Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, OR Tambo International spokesperson.
At the time of writing, traffic flow remains disrupted across Midrand and Kempton Park.
Feature image: Arrive Alive via Twitter (resized)