Strike: Shops, taxi ranks shut down in protest at rising prices

2008-07-09 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG minibus taxi ranks and almost all shops remained quiet yesterday as a result of Cosatu’s strike action against spiralling prices of basic necessities.

The gates of the Freedom Square and the Prof Nyembezi minibus taxi ranks in Church Street remained locked the whole day, as did those of many other local and long-distance ranks.

A few stranded taxi commuters, who knocked off this morning from their workplaces, were seen pleading with private vehicles to give them a lift home in the afternoon.

Most minibus taxis were seen parked or being washed.

“I only heard about this strike yesterday evening [Tuesday] after reporting for my night shift, which starts at 6 pm,” Musa Mthembu from Hopewell near Thornville told The Witness at 1 pm yesterday. “I knocked off at 6 am, only to find that there were no taxis.”

Thabisile Selela, another commuter, was determined to get to her workplace.

“Tomorrow morning [today], I have to report to work in Umlaas Road. If I don’t get there today I won’t make it early tomorrow,” said Selela.

Most shops along the busy Retief and Masukwana streets downtown were closed.

Those shops that were open — most in Church Street Mall — had barely any customers.

In residential areas, such as Edendale and Imbali, workers who did not report to their workplaces gathered in local drinking spots to while away the day.

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