Taxi strike: Schools, services grind to a halt


A total of 456,020 learners and 17,449 teachers and other school staff could not get to schools since Monday due to the ongoing taxi strike.

The Cape metro education districts are worst affected.

This is a significant increase from the 287,000 learners and 9,500 staff members who were absent on Friday due to the strike.

In total, 27 schools were forced to close their doors today and many other schools sent learners home earlier.

“The strike causes a huge loss of teaching and learning time that our children simply cannot afford,” says David Maynier, MEC for education in the Western Cape.

“We are committed to keeping schools open as far as possible.”

Rumors that schools were also now being targeted by strikers caused panic and confusion.

“No school has yet reported any incident related to the strike.”

The education department nevertheless appeals to school communities to report any cases of harassment or intimidation of learners who are taken to school, so that the city can take the appropriate legal steps.

“We will not tolerate anyone preventing our children from accessing their constitutional right to education.”

Impact on city services

MyCiTi bus service, Dial-a-Ride:

Rob Quintas, the city’s mayoral committee member for urban mobility, says the city monitors the MyCiTi bus routes and areas where the Dial-a-Ride service operates.

The N2 Express service operating between the Civic Centre, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha has been suspended until further notice. The 261 from Adderley Station to Century City has also been suspended until further notice

All other MyCiTi routes are currently operational, including Atlantis, Blaauwberg, Table View and Century City. However, there are no bus services on the routes near or around Dunoon, Hout Bay and Imizamo Yethu.

Law enforcement officers escort the buses and vehicles on certain high-risk routes and where incidents of violence have been reported.

“The situation is constantly changing and the city will continue to suspend and resume operations accordingly,” says Quintas.

Six of the city’s vehicles were set on fire at around 21:00 at the city’s road infrastructure management depot in Delft on Saturday. The vehicles were parked in front of the depot’s main building. No damage was done to the building itself.

Two more vehicles were set on fire at the RIM depot in Nyanga and four vehicles were set on fire at the RIM depot in Khayelitsha.

Municipal services affected

The city’s garbage disposal, water and sanitation services are also affected by the violent strike. The municipality has so far only been able to pay attention to emergencies and incidents in low-risk areas.

Power services are also affected in areas in the south and south-east of the metro, including Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain, Mfuleni and Hout Bay. Some depots in the north of the metro are closed, including in Langa, Joe Slovo, Heideveld, Manenberg and Hanover Park.

“Services in the growing number of hotspot areas have been temporarily withdrawn. It is clear that there is a concerted effort to target city vehicles and undermine service delivery.”

Numerous incidents of arson and vandalism were reported, including the hijacking of a sewage maintenance truck in Samora Machel, which was also set on fire. Service vehicles were also pelted with stones.

Furthermore, city staff are threatened while performing their duties. Where possible, arrangements have been made for teams to be escorted by safety teams.

In addition, staff using public transport cannot get to work.

Community and health services

All clinics in Khayelitsha, Bloekombos Clinic, Blue Downs Clinic, Crossroads 1 Clinic, Delft South Clinic, Dr Ivan Toms CDC, Driftsands Satellite Clinic, Gugulethu Clinic, Khayelitsha Environmental Health Office, Masincedane Clinic, Muizenberg Clinic, Mzamomhle Clinic, Nyanga Environmental Health Office, Philippi Clinic, Strandfontein Clinic, Wallacedene Clinic and Weltevreden Valley Clinic are closed.

The following city clinics offer limited services: Bloekombos Clinic, Masiphumelele Clinic, Seawinds Clinic and Vuyani Clinic.

Some libraries are also affected, with the following libraries closed: All libraries in Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Philippi-Oos, Weltevreden, Mfuleni, Nyanga, Crossroads Scottsdene, Delft and Eikendal.

Lotus River, Grassy Park and Masiphumulele’s libraries provide limited services. Rocklands, Belhar and Lentegeur’s libraries only offer a download service until further notice.

Read the previous reports about the taxi strike here.

Read the previous reports about the taxi strike here.