National Taxi Alliance warns of bigger, national strike amid taxi protest in Ekurhuleni

A man holding a stick in a taxi

The National Taxi Alliance has warned that it could intensify its strike to a national proportion. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Media

Published Mar 7, 2024


Thousands of taxi commuters were on Thursday grappling to find means to get to work, after taxi operators in Ekurhuleni withdrew services amid a strike.

Spokesperson for the National Taxi Alliance, Theo Malele, said the strike was centred around bus contracts and routes in the city.

The strike was understood to affect several areas in the East Rand including Thembisa, Thokoza, Germiston, Benoni, Katlehong and Vosloorus.

“The National Taxi Alliance notes the bus contracts issued in Ekurhuleni do not reflect the entire taxi industry's stance on the aspect of it being accorded a stake in the issuance of a contract along routes it operates and have nurtured all the years,” said Malele.

“The development of these routes was done by the taxi industry and therefore it (the taxi industry) should be given at least 30% of the contract, to compensate for the development and the losses it will incur in the process.”

The National Taxi Alliance has warned that it could intensify its strike to a national proportion. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Media

Malele insisted that if there is no agreement, the strike action will be intensified to a national proportion.

“Should the authorities remain incalcitrant in the matter, the industry will be left with no option either than to escalate current shutdown in Ekurhuleni to national proportion thus crippling the mobility of the masses as a consequence,” he said.

The National Taxi Alliance also apologized to affected commuters on Thursday.

“We want to apologize for inconvenience caused to the passengers and society at large and we urge authorities to deal with the taxi industry's resentment as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, IOL reported that the taxi strike action reported in different parts of Gauteng was reportedly linked to an ongoing dispute between taxi operators and private security companies used by the taxi industry as patrollers.

Meanwhile, the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) said taxi operations in several parts of Gauteng have been temporarily suspended due to the strike.

“Santaco can confirm that taxi operations in Thembisa, Germiston, Benoni, Katlehong, Vosloorus as well as other areas within the Gauteng province are temporarily suspended. This follows a disagreement between our patrollers and some of the security that we use as an industry in that particular region, and a bus company operating routes in that region,” Santaco spokesperson Rebecca Phala told Newzroom Afrika.

Police in Ekurhuleni said they are closely monitoring the taxi strike. File Picture: EMPD

“This disagreement which took place yesterday (Wednesday) saw some of our patrollers and security officials as well as their vehicles being impounded and there being arrests.”

Phala said an urgent meeting was scheduled on Thursday in a bid to speedily resolve the impasse.

“There is an urgent meeting between the industry and all other affected parties to speedily resolve this matter. We wish to send our apologies to commuters of the taxi industry within the Gauteng province who have been affected by this.

“We will continue to give you details as and when there are updates in relation to this matter,” she said.