The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) – the principal mouthpiece of the taxi industry in SA – on Sunday evening confirmed taxis in KwaZulu-Natal would not operate on Monday, 12 July.
Taxi stay-away on Monday
In the brief statement, Santaco explains the decision was taken to protect taxis and drivers from damage and harm as a result of the ‘KZN Shutdown’ protests following former President Jacob Zuma’s arrest.
“We can confirm that Santaco in KZN has informed us that all taxis in the province won’t be operating tomorrow”.
Protesters began gathering at hotspots around the province shortly after 12pm on Friday. By Saturday morning, an estimated 25 trucks had been torched while roads had been obstructed with debris and burning tyres.
The entire Mooi Plaza roadway in Mooi River remained closed for the majority of the weekend while clean-up operations were underway. North- and southbound traffic were diverted and motorists were asked to prepare for slow-moving traffic and delays.
Disruptions to service
Santaco spokesperson Sifiso Shangase on Friday said passengers were left stranded as some drivers have been unable to access certain routes due to widespread protests in the province.
Shangase couldn’t give commuters clarity on when the issue would be resolved as drivers had to take longer routes, or abandon other routes altogether. He assured commuters that the organisation was arranging alternative routes where possible.
In KwaMashu, an ambulance racing to help an elderly lady who had collapsed had to turn around and reroute after being blocked off by a group of protesters near Duffs Road bridge on Friday night.
KwaZulu-Natal VIP Medical Paramedics spokesperson Garrith Jamieson, at the time, told News24 paramedics responded to a medical emergency at around 8pm when they were stopped by protesters.
“My ambulance was mobile to an elderly patient who had collapsed at her home in Mount Edgecombe. Paramedics responded, and the shortest and quickest way was to go onto the M25 and then onto Duffs road and up Mount Edgecombe,” Jamieson said.