Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
14 Jul 2021
11:01 am

Santaco steps in to protect malls as taxi services resume in KZN

Citizen Reporter

Taxi council on Monday suspended all taxi services due to civil unrest and violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal.

Santaco taxis are back on the streets in KZN. Picture: Michel Bega

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in KwaZulu-Natal has confirmed taxi operators will be back on the streets again following a halt due to protests in the province.

Ongoing looting and protests sparked by former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest, had left Santaco with no choice but to suspend its services on Monday.

The decision was taken to protect taxis and drivers from damage and harm during the protests.

ALSO READ: SA looting: Here is everything you won’t be able to access

However, taxis operators have resumed services with immediate effect in KZN, Santaco announced on Wednesday morning, suspending its initial decision to suspend services.

“Santaco KZN has decided to return to work with immediate effect,” the organisation said in a tweet.

Santaco also said it would assist in protecting areas that have not been damaged by the looting and help clean up those areas.

The widespread protests left passengers stranded as some drivers were unable to travel certain routes in KwaZulu-Natal.

Meanwhile, the looting and torching of shops in KZN has left whole areas without basic groceries.

According to the police, the death toll from the riots in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng has risen to 72, while a total of 1,234 people had been arrested as of Tuesday.

‘Protect malls’

With the unrest having also affected taxis in Gauteng, Santaco in Tshwane has since taken steps to protect malls and shopping centres.

Abner Tsebe, chairperson of Santaco in Tshwane, told Rekord Newspaper that the organisation condemned looting, saying that vandalism would not only see people lose their jobs, but also affect the taxi industry.

“It is therefore, in our interests to stand against this form of outrageous thuggery,” Tsebe said.

More than 2,000 troops from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have since been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to help quell the violence.