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Taxi strike: Eastern Cape law enforcement out in force to maintain order

Sep 19, 2018
Taxi strike: Eastern Cape law enforcement out in force to maintain order

Eastern Cape law enforcement officers will be out in their numbers on Wednesday to monitor the taxi strike called for by the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) across the province.

According to the Eastern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, this is to ensure public safety, with special focus on other road users and even the safety of the striking taxi operators themselves.

“The department also wishes to call upon SANTACO to also play a proactive role as well and work with the law enforcement officers in this regard,” said spokesperson, Unathi Binqose.

“This will ensure that their strike action is peaceful and that, it is not marred by any acts of intimidation and violent conduct that may taint their strike action and take away from reasons for embarking on this action.”

She said that the high rates of unemployment and the ever escalating cost of living, particularly fuel prices is pinching holes in the pockets of just about every South African and as a results some may not even afford to be absent at work on Wednesday due to lack of job security.

“The challenge is therefore on SANTACO as well to ensure that those who can’t afford not to be at work,” Binqose added.

“Those who will make alternative transport arrangements, are not subjected to intimidation and even violence as the majority of them are the lifeblood of the taxi industry.

“If they lose their jobs, that will have rippling effect that may even impact on the taxi industry itself in the long run.”

She said that the department remains committed to further engagements with SANTACO to find a lasting solution to this impasse.

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

Bus companies also announced on Tuesday that there will be no bus services for the thousands of commuters affected by the taxi strike.