Violence and intimidation reported following Johannesburg taxi strike

 

Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, condemned the protest action undertaken by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) on 15 June following reports of violence and intimidation.

Santaco announced in a statement on 14 June that a legal strike had been planned in order for a memorandum of grievances to be handed over at the offices of South African Taxi Finance Holdings in Midrand. According to Nkosi-Malobane, however, the strike had led to service delivery disruptions as a number of workers struggled to get to their respective places of work, despite commuters warnings to find alternative transport on the day of the strike.

“I am deeply disappointed in the manner in which Santaco members conducted themselves during the protest action,” said Nkosi-Malobane.

“It is a Constitutional right for community members to engage in peaceful protests but to violate and intimidate non-striking members of communities cannot be condoned.”

Reports suggesting that a group of strikers accosted truck operators in Midrand and illegally confiscated their keys surfaced. “Law enforcement agencies will work around the clock to ensure that the hooligans who were involved in illegally confiscating truck drivers’ keys are brought to book to face the full might of the law,” vowed Nkosi-Malobane.

“Workers have avenues they can explore to raise their concerns instead of resorting to intimidation and violent protests. The strike has a negative impact on our economy since Gauteng is the economic hub of the country.”

Attempts to obtain comment from Santaco Gauteng secretary-general Ralph Jones were unsuccessful by the time of publication.

Read: Soul City Institute for Social Justice launches #SafeTaxisNow Charter for women

 

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Tshepiso Mametela

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