Taxi protest in Cape Town – Photo essay

A deserted Bellville taxi rank on Monday due to the two-day protest by the taxi industry. All photos by Nobathembu Ndzengu

The protest called by Santaco left thousands stranded on the first day of the two-day action.

On Monday taxi drivers and owners in the province under the umbrella of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) embarked on a protest calling for an end to the impounding of their vehicles by City of Cape Town’s law enforcement, the reinstatement of the Blue Dot programme, and the formalisation of the taxi industry. The two-day protest which started today was marked by violence as MyCiti buses and a Golden Arrow bus were burned in Khayelitsha. There are reports of buses being torched in Nyanga as well.

An articulated MyCiti bus was set alight near Makhaza in Khayelitsha on Monday. All photos by Nobathembu Ndzengu
A Golden Arrow bus was set alight less than five kilometres from where the MyCiti bus was burned.

Santaco has distanced itself from the violence saying that criminals are opportunistically using the protest to commit acts of crime. Meanwhile, the police say they have arrested three suspects allegedly with strong links to the taxi industry in Delft, after thirteen petrol bombs were found in their vehicle.

The two bus companies threatened to withdraw their services to Khayelitsha but a solution was reached with the City of Cape Town law enforcement agency to escort the buses.

In a media statement issued on Sunday, the Western Cape Education Department said that matriculants, who will be writing examinations on the high-enrolment subjects of Life Sciences and Geography on Monday and Tuesday, will be able to sit the exam at their closest examination centre.

Learners from Gardens Commercial High School at the bus terminus waiting for their bus to arrive
The Bellville bus terminus was extra busy this afternoon as workers made their way home.

The Cape Town leg of the national strike by public sector workers has been postponed due to the ongoing action by Santaco. In a media statement, Cosatu, Fedusa and Saftu said that they have reflected on the violence of the taxi protest and decided to postpone the strike in Cape Town as the safety of their members could not be guaranteed.

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The Cape Town bus terminus started to get busy as early as 14h00 this afternoon.

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