No end in sight for north taxi protest

Hammanskraal minibus taxi commuters are gearing up for a face-off against the Tshwane metro over the decision to ban their taxis from the city centre.

The metro and the Hammanskraal taxi association struck a deal which resulted in the Hammanskraal-Pretoria taxis ending their trip in Wonderboom, and passengers had to catch a bus into the city.

Protest leader Thabo Tshesane said this week that another protest was looming as it did not seem the impasse would be resolved “anytime soon”.

“We were supposed to meet with MMC for roads and transport Sheila Lynn Senkubuge on Tuesday (6 March). The meeting never took place. She’s playing duck and dive,” said Tshesane.

“We are now planning to march to the Union Buildings next week. We will hand over our memorandum to the new minister of transport, maybe he will consider our grievances.”

Senkubuge told Rekord she was not aware of the Tuesday meeting.

“The meeting I am aware of is scheduled for tomorrow (8 March). These people are not organised. There are four different bodies all claiming to represent the taxi users. We cannot be caught in a political messiness,” she said.

Tshesane said since the metro was adamant taxi users had to use A Re Yeng buses, the buses must run from Hammanskraal to town.

“People arrive at work late every day because of this arrangement. It’s either they allow taxis to operate from town to Hammanskraal or the A Re Yeng buses should transport passengers from Hammanskraal to town,” he said.

Tshesane said they wanted the metro to review an agreement signed with the taxi associations.

“Because in the end, our people suffer the consequences because they often get to work late, and some have lost jobs as a result of this arrangement,” he said.

“Commuters have a right to choose alternative transport modes – be it taxi, bus or train.”