It was an amusing sight. Instead of the taxis giving passengers a lift, they were being given piggy-back rides on tow trucks to the police compound to be locked away until the owners settled charges with the city police.
Many would have said: “Serves them right.”
For too long the taxis have been a law unto themselves, flouting the rules of the road with impunity.
ALSO READ | Letters | Public transportation
Motorists all over the country know what a terrible nuisance and a danger taxis pose on the roads but the authorities have done little to regulate the powerful taxi cartels and make them comply with the rules of the road.
Whenever the authorities have tried to clamp down on miscreant taxi drivers, they have embarked on strikes and protests, often violent.
They have blockaded roads, disrupted traffic and caused chaos in cities.
Commuters have been left stranded and businesses have suffered.
In the end, the action against the taxis has petered out and the taxis owners have won, growing from strength to strength and becoming untouchable.
But the City of Cape Town began impounding taxis which had outstanding fines.
In retaliation, the SA Taxi Association’s (Santaco) Western Cape branch declared a strike, bringing the city to a halt.
The strike turned violent, buses and businesses were burnt and five people died.
But the City of Cape Town did not cave in and went on impounding taxis that had flouted traffic regulations.
In the end, Santaco called off the week-long strike.
The City of Cape Town had won the war against the taxi mafia. Cape Town must be complimented for taking on the taxi industry.