Heavy police presence at KZN toll plaza

2012-07-25 11:51
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Durban - There was a strong police presence at the Mariannhill toll plaza on the N3 ahead of the planned taxi protest in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

The SA Police Service and the KwaZulu-Natal traffic police were monitoring the area.

A helicopter circled above, while three tow trucks, one riot police vehicle, and a group of heavily armed policemen were present.

Media and about six people with bags of coins were also on the scene. The bags were part of a protest plan to pay tolls with five cent pieces.

Few taxis were operating in Durban ahead of the strike.

"No incidents have been reported. However, very few taxis are operating," said metro police spokesperson Eugene Msomi.

Taxi owners and drivers will march to KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize's office in Pietermaritzburg to hand over a memorandum of grievances over the government's taxi recapitalisation programme.

They are also dissatisfied with the provincial transport department's administration and issuing of operating licences.

Deserted ranks

Another grievance was the government's decision to recognise the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) as the sole representative of the taxi industry.

Msomi said taxi ranks were deserted as many drivers were expected to meet at the Mariannhill toll plaza around 09:00 before heading to Pietermaritzburg.

Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said traffic would be diverted from the N3 to the R102.

Road traffic inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said law enforcement officers were escorting the protest convoy proceeding to Pietermaritzburg at 50km an hour.

No incidents were reported.

Business of Chamber chief executive Andrew Layman said disruptions were expected on Wednesday morning.

"I can't say how widespread the effects are, but there is no doubt that some workers would have been late for work and some might not have been able to get there at all," Layman said.

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