Disgruntled taxi operators at Burgersfort, in Limpopo, on Wednesday temporarily suspended their services in protest over poor road conditions. They have handed over a memorandum of grievances to the local Fetakgomo-Tubatse Municipality.
Scores of drivers affiliated with the Eastern Leolo Taxi Association formed a motorcade to the municipal offices.
The taxi drivers formed a motorcade in protest over poorly maintained roads. The roads have potholes and they flood easily during rainy seasons as there is no drainage system.
Secretary of the Eastern Leolo Taxi Association, Prince Maluleke says, “Actually, it is not necessarily a shutdown, but you can see with our movement it’s automatically a shutdown. But with the arrangements that we made, it was not automatically a shutdown. But given the number of taxis that we will be using, obviously, there can’t be proper movement of taxis today. Commuters are, obviously, left stranded since early in the morning, but we have made a plea with them that they must give us this chance and opportunity to try and fix our problems within our area because it is in the best interest of them. It is not only for us as taxi owners. It is also for them as commuters.”
The Fetakgomo-Tubatse Municipality says the concerns raised by taxi drivers are valid. Head of Budget and Treasury portfolio at the municipality, Magatane Mamogale, says service providers have conducted an inspection of the roads as they plan to rehabilitate them.
“Yes, it is valid. The two roads are not in a good condition, and we have also intervened with the Department of Public Works since August last year. Last month, the service provider was on-site to monitor the implementation of the project, in terms of the rehabilitation of the roads.”
The municipality says it will respond to the memorandum by taxi operators soon.