Clinics closed, services disrupted over Santaco strike


Several public services, including water and sanitation, are disrupted in Cape Town due to the South African National Taxi Council’s (Santaco) strike. Some clinics even had to close their doors due to the “peaceful” strike which apparently took a violent turn.

Santaco pulled out of talks with the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government last week and on Thursday suddenly decided to suspend its operations in Cape Town based on what they consider to be unfair discriminatory practices towards minibus taxis.

Since then, chaos has reigned in the Mother City, scrambling to keep its services running amid the World Cup Netball tournament being held in the city.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, mayor of Cape Town, says that due to the violent strikes, it is almost impossible for the metro to attend to most service requests.

This includes repairing burst pipes, tackling sewer blockages and flooding, and collecting sludge from waste water treatment works. Even at this stage, the metro has no access to some water plants.

Currently the water and sanitation plants in Khayelitsha, Philippi, Fisantekraal, Dunoon, Witsand and Delft are most affected by the strikes, but according to Hill-Lewis they are still operational thanks to a few individuals who still keep them going .

“However, service provision at informal settlements has been severely affected because teams cannot gain access to the areas at all to provide ablution services and empty storage tanks,” he says.

“As a security measure, arrangements have been made for teams to be escorted by security services, but in most cases services in these areas have been completely suspended.”

Two of the metro’s service cars or vehicles of contractors were damaged by the protesters. According to Hill-Lewis, one of the metro’s cars was burnt to the ground in Joe Slovo, while the windows of another car were broken.

“No workers have been injured yet, but the metro is monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to suspend all services.”

Eskom has already warned that it will also suspend its services in areas where the strikes are raging. This follows after one of his service vehicles was attacked with a petrol bomb in Khayelitsha.

The power supplier has already turned down all requests to deal with power failures in Khayelitsha, Delft, Belhar, Du Noon, Philippi and Fisantekraal.

“Eskom will deal with requests to restore power supply in areas with the utmost care.”

Clinics closed

The metro’s health department says a number of clinics provide only emergency services at this stage, while others have already closed their doors.

According to Hill-Lewis, the clinics in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Masincedani are only accessible for emergencies.

The Site C Youth Clinic, Vuyani Clinic, Hanover Park Clinic, Philippi Clinic and the clinics in Hazendal and Driftsands are closed until further notice.

The metro’s Department of Parks and Recreation has meanwhile decided to close all public viewing areas for the World Cup Netball Tournament for as long as the strike continues.

“This is done in the interest of public safety, as well as so that the manpower can be used elsewhere.”

Crime, violence

The city’s traffic services say that there were several sporadic cases reported on Friday afternoon where people, cars and the police were pelted with stones.

JP Smith, Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety, says he himself saw people encouraging children to throw stones.

Here’s the latest on the situation:

Let’s all be honest about what is really going on with the taxi violence. When children are weaponized, there can be no doubt. Criminal law in South Africa protects a minor from being convicted for a crime. Criminal syndicates are aware of this. So they instigate children to commit their acts of public violence. And here is the proof…

Posted by JP Smith on Friday, August 4, 2023