IPTS: Roads around City Hall blocked as taxi drivers stage peaceful protest


Frustrated members of taxi originations in Nelson Mandela Bay have staged a protest outside City Hall demanding the implementation of the long delayed Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS).

The demonstration, which has seen taxis blocking Baakens, Military, Whites and Caste Hill Roads, comes a week after the organisation reportedly presented the municipality with an ultimatum, to have operations commence within the next seven days.

“We have been patient through countless postponed and cancelled meetings, delayed decisions and the inability of city officials to act,” Laphum'ilanga Transport Services Director and CEO, Gregory Rockman, was quoted by local radio station Algoa FM as saying.

“Danny Jordaan’s appointment in May as Executive Mayor brought hope that that this continual stalling would be converted into positive action, and we have had several positive engagements with him and his team, but still nothing has been done.

“The memorandum of agreement is ready, the funding from National Treasury is there, operational plans are in place for the five contract areas, as are plans for temporary infrastructure where required. The taxi industry is ready and waiting to deliver,” he said.

When RNews arrived at the scene a short while ago, a small number of people with banners were sitting outside City Hall looking for shade, while others were sitting in their vehicles or chatting with colleagues. While the situation appeared calm, police are keeping a watching brief as the protest unfolds.

Attempts to get comments from the drives proved futile.