Businesses have been disrupted at Limpopo’s biggest mall in Polokwane due to a route dispute between two taxi associations. Mankweng Taxi Association parked taxis in the middle of the R81 road, near the Mall of the North.
The association accuses Seshego Taxi Association of ferrying passengers to and from the mall without a permit. Travellers heading towards Giyani were re-routed on Friday morning.
The taxis were stretched for about two kilometres towards the Mall of the North. Passengers were left stranded. Some mall employees lingered on the road.
The Mankweng taxi association says it resolved to take this drastic step as talks have been futile.
“This thing has been happening for years. We have been going to the department of transport to enquire how the Seshego Taxi Association got the permit to work on our route. This war has led to the death of some of our colleagues, some are even paralysed now at the hand of the Seshego Taxi Association. That is why we have now closed this road” says Mankweng Taxi Association, Sekwana Moloko.
Authorities say they are getting the two sides together to find ways to ensure that they are able to co-exist.
“Our plea to them is that they must open the road to allow economic activities to help in this stretch more so because we have got two malls that a very big in the province where the majority of our people work. We are saying if they have got issues they must come we are willing to sit down with them and resolve it amicably,” Limpopo Transport and Community Safety spokesperson, Mike Maringa.
Maringa says talks are underway to get the protestors to move their taxis and allow private vehicles to pass. The Seshego Taxi Association could not be reached for comment.