WARNING: Midrand gridlocked following taxi strike – no way in or out

UPDATE 8.30am:

Santaco confirmed that they will no longer be marching to the SA Taxi Finance Holdings but will still gather at the Midrand Taxi Rank. Santaco will also be holding a press conference at Emporers Palace at 2.00pm today.

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE 7.00am:

While the march was only expected to take place at 10am today (15 June) taxi drivers started blocking off roads leading to the highway from the early hours of the morning. Reports suggest that Metro police officers were deployed to the area from about 1am.

According to eNCA, Gauteng taxi operators affiliated to the South African National Taxi Council embarked on a protest against what it called high minibus taxi purchase costs.

Main routes in Midrand including New Road, Allandale, K101 and Harry Galaun blocked as a result of the strike.  Reports also suggest that the highway (southbound) are blocked.

Midrand Reporter journalist, Welisa Nene, is in the area and said: “Midrand is congested… movement is not happening.”

The Santaco march expected over 2000 taxi owners and drivers to park their vehicles at Gallagher Estate and walk to the Midrand Taxi Rank. From there, the plan was to hand over a memorandum at about 11am, and walk back to their vehicles.

According to Captain Lionel Chetty from the Midrand police, the initial information they received suggested that taxis drivers and owners from KZN were also expected to participate in the march, although this cannot be confirmed.

Metro police have posted on Facebook that “motorists should avoid the N1 north and south in Midrand as taxi drivers have blocked both sides of the freeway with taxis and trucks which the drivers have hi- jacked by pointing firearms and have left with the keys, motorists can use the R55 and Old Pretoria Rd as alternative routes whilst more officers are deployed to that area as we have requested SANRAL tow trucks to help remove the obstruction which will take a while.”

MEC Panyaza Lesufi has advised parents to take their children to school, rather than allowing them to taxi there, due to safety concerns.

Midrand resident Thani Ntobela told Midrand Reporter that parents are turning back from Noordwyk High and Sagewood Primary saying ‘no school’.

 

 

  AUTHOR
Megan Tyack

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