Disabled residents from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape are protesting against the decision to re-open only two taxi ranks as part of a peace agreement between feuding taxi organisations.
They say are they are being disadvantaged and are demanding that the KSD municipality intervenes.
The blind, deaf and partially able bodied people did not make their impairments stop them. They took to the streets of Mthatha to make their voices heard.
The taxi issue in Mthatha is a contentious one. They are calling for a dedicated rank for themselves and one that is close to the CBD.
“That rank is too far. On May 3rd people carrying their groceries were robbed. The decision to open that rank that is at the end of the town was not suitable for us,” says a resident.
“KSD gives pavements to hawkers leaving us with no space for our wheelchairs. We are saying away with that,” says another resident.
“Yesterday I walked home. Thank God, a good Samaritan gave me a life home. We are really struggling. Even when we are at that taxi rank we are pushed,” adds a disable resident.
Residents wanted to the mayor to receive their petition but a representative from the mayoral committee was sent.
Edgar Mapekula of the KSD Municipality says: “I am not going to respond to your demands. I will make sure that the mayor receives your demands and there will be a response within seven days. Thank you!”
The operating rank in Mthatha is a bone of contention with everyone. It is dirty and congested.