Taxi strike could be a disaster for pupils writing exams
Pupils in Pretoria might have to get up extra early or face possible disaster on Wednesday ahead of their exams if they do not make alternative transport arrangements.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi urged parents on Monday to take the necessary precautions for the safety of their children ahead of a march by the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) in Pretoria on Wednesday.
This comes after pupils struggled to arrive on time and some missed their exams on Monday last week amid the Black Monday protests against attacks and murders on farms.
"All chief invigilators will assist and afford all Grade 12 learners who might arrive late an opportunity to write their final exam accordingly."
Lesufi said chief invigilators will use their discretion to accommodate learners to write their exams at alternative centres.
“It is concerning and unfortunate that such activities continue to be organised during this critical period of examinations in the education environment. Actually such activities subvert the country."
NTA general-secretary Alpheus Malazi said they will be gathering in Pretoria‚ but believes taxis will join them from across the country.
They cancelled their strike at the 11th hour on October 19 last month after Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi vowed to engage the NTA on their grievances.
Malazi said they have since received no feedback from Maswanganyi and will raise their grievances by marching to the Department of Transport in the Pretoria CBD to deliver their memorandum before delivering a second memorandum at the Union Buildings.
Their grievances include‚ among other things‚ challenges to the taxi industry such as subsidies‚ dedicated taxi lanes‚ the registration of taxi-operators and Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO).
The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) said the taxi drivers will gather from 9am at the Old Putco Depot in Marabastad. From 11.30am they will move to the Department of Transport at the corner Struben and Bosman streets to hand over their memorandum at 12 noon before proceeding to the Union Buildings to hand over their second memorandum at 1pm. They are expected to return to the Old Putco Depot at 2.30pm.
The streets that will be affected are Struben‚ Nelson Mandela and Madiba. TMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba advised motorists to use Nana Sita‚ Francis Baard and Boom streets.