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Residents’ concerns bear no fruit

RUIMSIG - Illegal taxi rank sees no response

RUIMSIG – For the last two weeks an illegal taxi rank has been operating on the corner of Hole-In-One Avenue and Van Wyk Road in Ruimsig.

Judite Gouveia and Fred Wilke live in Sundowner Crest, a complex on Hole-In-One Avenue and a stone’s throw away from the where the taxi rank has set up shop. The concerned residents contacted the Northsider on 6 December, having tried various other avenues – the police, the metro police and the ward councillor –without success.

“No one wants to account for this, when you speak to one person, they send you to the next and say it is not their jurisdiction,” Wilke explained. At one point, said Wilke, one of the people he sought help from rubbished his complaint, stating there is no illegal taxi rank, and perhaps the drivers had just stopped to chat to each other.

According to Gouveia, the taxis block the roads and create havoc. “These taxis just stop and go as they please, whether it’s in the middle of the road and obstructing traffic, they don’t seem to care.”

Wilke is concerned about the effect the rank will have on the quality of the area. “With all the litter because of the rank, the value of our houses will go down,” Wilke said.

During the Northsider’s visit to the area, the garden outside Sundowner Crest was covered in beer bottles, plastic and paper. “This is how it is everyday,” Wilke lamented. “The taxi drivers use our garden while waiting for their commuters, playing loud music at the same time.”

Crime is also a concern. The arrival of the taxi rank has resulted in an influx of people to the area, and when driving out of their complex, residents are extra vigilant. In addition to crime, Wilke is vivdly aware of the violence that sometimes accompanies a taxi rank. “We’ve seen in other areas how violent taxi operators get when fighting over new routes.”

Metro police is still to comment on the matter.

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