Fight over routes

2015-04-30 14:45
A Westlake taxi driver during the protest along Steenberg Road last week. 


A Westlake taxi driver during the protest along Steenberg Road last week. PHOTO: MONIQUE DUVAL

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Westlake taxi drivers are calling on provincial government to intervene in a dispute over routes and permits.

This follows protests in the area last week. Angry taxi drivers took to the streets and prevented Khayelitsha drivers from operating.

Social media reports indicate that Steenberg Road was blocked, causing delays for motorists travelling between the South Peninsula and the southern suburbs.

According to a report by Kirstenhof police station additional police officers were deployed on Monday 13 April at 03:00 following a warning of possible taxi violence.

Police spokesperson Deidre Solomon says officers were deployed to the intersection of Steenberg Road and Westlake Drive at 06:20.

“Upon arrival they were met by approximately fifteen taxis belonging to the Westlake Taxi Association (WTA) and a crowd of about 200 residents who had blockaded the intersection with their taxis and had set tyres alight in the middle of it,” she says.

Solomon explains this intersection is the only access to Westlake Business Park and is a vital link between the South Peninsula and the southern suburbs.

“As a result, traffic was held up. Police immediately took control of the situation by removing the first few taxis that participated in the illegal blockade. The rest of the vehicles were quickly removed by the owners themselves after threats that their vehicles would be impounded.”

Traffic flow was restored and the burning barricade of tyres was removed.

“Police learned that the illegal protest action was orchestrated by the WTA after countless infringements of its taxi routes by taxis operating from Khayelitsha. A quick round-up by Kirstenhof police of all taxis operating in the area supported this claim,” she explains.

Seven Khayelitsha taxis were impounded for operating without a valid permit. Two members of the WTA were arrested for robbery and assault.

WTA chairperson Hudson Mulungwana says the protest was a result of months of frustration. He explains drivers from Khayelitsha, Retreat and Capricorn operated in Westlake despite not having permits.

He also says several letters to the department of transport have gone unanswered and the association is calling on provincial government to intervene.

The transport department did not respond to requests for comment.

“We were told that four Khayelitsha drivers were on their way to Westlake with firearms the day after the protest but were arrested by police. We do fear violence but we cannot keep quiet anymore. The drivers from Vrygrond are just as problematic,” he says. Solomon could not confirm this.V

What are your thoughts? Starting with the word “Post”, SMS your view to 32516. SMSes cost R1

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?



How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.