Striking taxi bosses given a dressing down by provincial ANC chair

20 September 2018 - 10:11 By Staff Reporters
In Butterworth taxi operators use tyres, boulders, tree logs and road construction barriers to blockade the N2 towards Mthatha and the R409 towards Centane on September 19 2018.
In Butterworth taxi operators use tyres, boulders, tree logs and road construction barriers to blockade the N2 towards Mthatha and the R409 towards Centane on September 19 2018.
Image: LOYISO MPALANTSHANE

Striking Eastern Cape taxi bosses‚ who caused a fear-driven mass stay-away and economic stoppages across the province on Wednesday‚ were given a dressing down by provincial ANC chair Oscar Mabuyane.

In a “friendly warning”‚ he told the taximen‚ and a few women‚ they would not be allowed to disrupt South Africa’s hard-earned democracy.

He told the 250 singing and dancing taxi operators at Calata House in King William’s Town that their disruptive actions‚ which caused the Mercedez-Benz East London plant to shut its doors for the day‚ could have catastrophic effects on the local economy.

Provincial police said 14 people were arrested for public violence‚ attempted murder and damage to essential structures. A handful of taxis were confiscated.

Spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci said Aliwal North police arrested three young people and charged them with attempted murder after an attempt to run over a police officer with a vehicle.

Schools closed‚ or parents kept children at home and thousands of workers had no way of getting to work. Traffic was dramatically down and at times main roads were eerily empty.

Mabuyane‚ speaking after accepting the taximen’s memorandum‚ said: “This is just a friendly warning to you that we must protect this hard-earned democracy we are enjoying.

“Today’s actions‚ which resulted in MBSA and other businesses being unable to meet their targets and deliver to their clients‚ may have detrimental effects. When MBSA lays off workers and sends them back to Mdantsane three or four years down the line‚ some will forget that it emanated from this protest today.”

- Daily Dispatch 

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