Western Cape taxi strike adds to Cape Town’s public transport woes

cape town taxi strike flowcomm durban flickr

Today Capetonians woke to rain, gridlocked highways, late trains, buses on fire, and a taxi strike.

Yes, yet another taxi strike began in the early hours of Monday morning across the Western Cape. According to a News24 report, the strike is the result of a leadership dispute within the South African National Taxi Council.

As a side effect, commuters who use taxis to travel across the province were left stranded on Monday.

Some commuters who braved the strike reportedly narrowly avoided injury.

Others watched from a distance as vehicles were set alight in Khayelitsha, southeast of central Cape Town.

Some could appreciate the irony of the strike.

While others, like the City of Cape Town’s mayco member for transport Brett Herron, were less amused. He condemned the violence on Twitter.

“Reports & images of torching of buses, and intimidation of commuters, as part of the #taxistrike are shocking & intolerable. No person or property should be a victim of their internal disputes,” he tweeted.

“Violence is never an acceptable form of protest. I call on the taxi leadership to intervene immediately and to join me in condemning this anarchy.”

And for those attempting to travel to work without the aid of taxis, Metrorail — a company that’s is facing a slew of violence against its infrastructure — announced sweeping delays across its major routes.

Two MyCiti bus routes — namely D01 Khayelitsha East, and D02 Khayelitsha West — have also been suspended “until further notice”, the service tweeted Monday.

And finally, Cape Town’s Golden Arrow bus service has also suspended its bus service on Monday after two buses were set alight.

“At this stage none of our services are operating in Khayelitsha unfortunately. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep you all updated. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience,” it wrote on Facebook.

“SERVICES AFFECTED IN DELFT, NYANGA AND KHAYELITSHA: We have had to suspend services into Delft and Nyanga and are now operating from the outskirts,” it added in an additional post.

There’s no word on when the Western Cape taxi strike will end.

Feature image: flowcomm via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Andy Walker, former editor


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