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Taxi strike: Algoa Bus and Libongolethu also suspend Wednesday services

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 18, 2018
Taxi strike: Algoa Bus and Libongolethu also suspend Wednesday services

Eastern Cape commuters have now been left in a desperate situation after bus companies also announced on Tuesday that there will be no bus services for the thousands of commuters affected by the taxi strike called by the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO).

The province-wide taxi strike is apparently due to the recent hikes in petrol prices, which SANTACO claims government has not given enough attention.

SANTACO had urged commuters affected by the taxi strike to use the alternative modes transport – primarily bus services.

However, the Algoa Bus Company, which operates several routes in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, also announced that their buses will not be operating on Wednesday.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Integrated Public Transport System, the Libongolethu bus service, also announced that it was suspending Wednesday’s services.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, said that the municipality apologises for any inconvenience caused to its commuters.

“The decision has been taken as precautionary measure,” he added.

Still, commuters, who spokes to RNEWS said that they are worried about ‘no work no pay’ polices at their workplaces.

Noluthando Mdolomba, a 34-year-old from Motherwell, said: “Yho, I really don’t know how we are going to get to work now because we rely on these taxis and my employer will not pay me if I don’t show up even though the strike has been announced in the news.”

She hopes the strike will be over before Saturday, so that she can recover the days she won’t be working due to the taxi strike.

A 35-year-old commuter, who resides in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, said that he supports the cause of the strike due to the “ridiculous petrol hikes” – he, however, hopes that it doesn’t become violent.

“Petrol prices affect everyone whether you have a car or not, you are working or you are not working due to the fact that when petrol prices increase, food prices will also increase, but if it becomes a violent strike - then it’s not achieving anything.

“So, hopefully it will work and hopefully it doesn’t become violent,” he described.

One of the taxi drivers, who refused to be named, told RNEWS that they will be patrolling on the roads making sure that drivers obey the strike.

“The strike has been announced so we expect everyone to obey to avoid violence because we announced 100% total shutdown and those that doesn’t listen will be disciplined accordingly.”

The Eastern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison on Tuesday said that the taxi strike by SANTACO is undesirable and is likely to have a negative impact on both government and the private sector.

It added that it had sought to solve the issue with SANTACO.