Phumzile van Damme and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi weigh in on soldiers' deployment during taxi protest
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the DA's Phumzile van Damme have weighed in on the deployment of soldiers to help police during the taxi strike.
On Monday, a taxi protest in Gauteng turned violent after police used rubber bullets to disperse taxi operators who had blockaded roads. Soldiers were deployed to some hot spots to clear some blocked roads caused by taxi operators who were stopping motorists and harassing people asking for lifts to work.
TimesLIVE reported the one-day protest was prompted by the government offering R1bn to the sector to limit the impact of Covid-19.
However, the taxi industry said the offering was not nearly enough to provide relief, insisting on “at least R20,000 per vehicle”.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said taxi operators had “no right” to close roads and that the strike was “counterproductive”.
On social media, the deployment of soldiers made the top trending list as mixed reactions poured in.
Ndlozi warned that people shouldn't be celebrating the defence force's involvement.
“We can’t celebrate the army being deployed on civilian protesters. There are absolutely no grounds whatsoever for the army to be dispersing the taxi strike. It is an abuse of power, whether you agree with the protest or not!” he said.
Echoing Ndlozi's statement, Van Damme said the deployment was “a very slippery slope”.
“On one hand, laws are being broken, on the other, we are not at war here. Why is the army being deployed to deal with criminality? A very slippery slope this,” said Van Damme.
Here is a snapshot of what tweeps had to say about the SANDF deployment.
The biggest lie told is that the SA Taxi industry does not pay taxes when they transport 15 million people and account for close to R15billion in fuel. Fuel, income tax, VAT, and monthly payments to banks yet clever blacks will tell you how much they are bullies. #TaxiStrike pic.twitter.com/c8Ni6Ia0cP— #PlayAphiweDyantyi (@KamvelihleGoba) June 22, 2020
It’s interesting to note Gautrain which transports less than 150 000 people per day receives R1,6 Billion in Government Subsidy from taxpayers while the Taxi Industry which transports 15 Million People a day or 26% of SA’s Population receives No Government Subsidy.— Great Zulu👑 (@SuperiorZulu) June 21, 2020
I'm happy they calling in the SANDF to deal with taxi drivers blocking the roads for other drivers... You want 20K for unroadworthy taxis...a taxi with torn and broken seats, taxis that don't have proper brakes, taxis were you can't even open the windows 💀🚮#Taxistrike pic.twitter.com/aeMNuKldpM— 🖤 Nini (@Nini_sz31) June 22, 2020
After all let give respect to The SANDF & SAPS for controlling the situation, giving taxi drivers 5 minutes to clear the road. This proves that we have capable men in uniform. Taxi bosses will not run this Country. Mbalula please put more buses on the road Sir#Taxistrike pic.twitter.com/OuOEJFZNQx— Mfundoyakhe Shezi 🇿🇦 (@Mfundoyakhe_S) June 22, 2020