WATCH | Protesters chase biker amid taxi chaos

18 September 2017 - 10:40 By Nashira Davids‚ Aron Hyman And Anthony Molyneaux
Protesters blocked the N7 in Cape Town with burning debris.
Protesters blocked the N7 in Cape Town with burning debris.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

Cape Town residents on Monday awoke to chaos on the roads as a provincial taxi strike turned violent.

Taxi associations say operators are unhappy about industry leadership as well as the impounding of vehicles by authorities.

On Monday morning commuters were forced to use alternative transport. But according to Bronwyn Dyke-Meyer‚ from Golden Arrow bus services‚ their vehicles had become targets.

Buses have been stoned across the city and one was set alight. Golden Arrow have identified Nyanga‚ Delft and certain areas of Khayelitsha as "hot spots''. In addition there are concerns about violence in Wynberg and Du Noon.

"We have had some reports of passengers with minor injuries‚'' said Dyke-Meyer.

"We are very concerned about the stoning because it's extremely dangerous. We are working with law enforcement where we can. We're doing our best to make sure everyone can get to work.''

Golden Arrow operate about 1‚100 buses in Cape Town. TimesLIVE witnessed a group of protesters chasing after a biker on the N7 in Cape Town. A group of about 100 people blocked the highway with burning debris. They stoned cars and buses and turned on Jaco Prins‚ who was on his motorbike.

Officers arrived just after Prins drove through the barricade. He was stoned and a protester hit him with a pole. Luckily Prins managed to escape with minor injuries.

"These are thugs next to the road. That's not taxi people there. That's political unrest‚'' Prins said.

To add to the chaos‚ Metrorail spokesperson in the Western Cape‚ Riana Scott reported that four trains in the northern area had been cancelled after train crew were affected by the strike.

Jessica Shelver‚ spokesperson for the provincial education department‚ said there was no doubt that the strike would have a ''significant impact on learners'' who have to travel to school.

"Schools will manage the situation on a case by case basis‚'' Shelver said.

Jay-Jay Maans‚ chairman of the Retreat Taxi Association‚ condemned the violence. His association consists of 45 members who operate 106 vehicles in areas such as Lavender Hill and Hanover Park to upmarket Constantia and Tokai.

"We have had a peaceful stay-away. But we will be back at work at noon [Monday]‚'' said Maans.

"We are not interested if they want to continue with the strike.''

Maans said a delegation of taxi associations would meet with transport MEC Donald Grant to discuss their grievances.

Another concern is the passing of legislation without the consultation of taxi associations‚ Maans said.


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