Zacharia Nale
1 minute read
19 Aug 2020
10:40 am

Taxi drivers declare ‘war’ on Boipatong electricity protesters

Zacharia Nale

The drivers say the stones and other objects the protesters use to block the roads damage their taxis.

The continuous closure of roads by residents has angered taxi owners and drivers in Boipatong. Photo: Zacharia Nale

Taxi drivers declared “war” against protesters in Boipatong, Vanderbijlpark after the community had been barricading entrances of the area in protest over electricity cut-offs for the past month.

Last week, the protesters decided to block all entrances to prevent taxis from commuting in and out of Boipatong, which prompted an angry response from the taxi drivers.

The drivers said that the stones and other objects the protesters used to block the roads damage their taxis.

Majority of drivers, who are also owners of the taxis, said that they have reported the situation to their taxi association.

“This is too much now, every week there is a protest in the area. We raised our concerns with our association. We don’t want to be seen fighting against our community, but these are criminal acts.

“People in this area complain of crime due to the same people who claim to be fighting for electricity. Look, some of us are part of the affected community and we don’t condone what is happening.

“We want to plead with the Boipatong community to assist us because it will get ugly when we have to confront each other. We will support them, but they must do this in the right way,” said the taxi owners.

The residents have alleged asked for meetings with local authorities to no avail.

The Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) has, however, in many instances, warned community members not to overload the power grid as this causes transformers to explode, leading to electricity cut-offs for longer periods.

This article first appeared on Sedibeng Ster and was republished with permission.

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