Meeting in Mamelodi after taxi operators block Autopax buses

2015-07-01 12:49
Commuters protested outside the Putco depot on Wednesday morning and refused to use taxis as Autopax buses did not start. Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

Commuters protested outside the Putco depot on Wednesday morning and refused to use taxis as Autopax buses did not start. Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

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Pretoria – A meeting is taking place in Mamelodi near Pretoria on Wednesday after minibus taxi operators had earlier prevented commuters from boarding Autopax buses, leaving many people stranded.

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Superintendent Isaac Mahamba told News24 he could not confirm who was at the meeting aside from SA Police Service officials.

About 1 000 to 1 500 people had gathered earlier at the intersection of Tsamaya and Shibvambo Roads in the morning, he said.

Autopax was appointed to take over selected routes that Putco used in Gauteng, including in Mamelodi, after Putco decided not to renew its contracts with the provincial government.

When they did not see buses passing by on Wednesday morning, commuters went to the depot, and found only City to City buses still parked inside, City Press reported.

Taxi operators told them they would not be allowed to board the new buses and should use taxis instead.

Commuters refused, leading to a heated debate. Police intervened and separated the two sides to opposite sides of the road, City Press said.

By 09:00, however, traffic was flowing freely, Mahamba confirmed to News24.

Earlier, it had been tweeted that a bus had been set alight but neither Mahamba nor Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini could confirm this.

The Gauteng transport department and Autopax were not immediately available for comment.

Read more on:    autopax  |  putco  |  pretoria  |  transport

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