Operators take over

2018-06-21 06:01
Taxi operators remove rubbish on Mew Way road. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Taxi operators remove rubbish on Mew Way road. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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‘Gatvol’ taxi drivers brought a service delivery protest to a halt on Tuesday, and sent the participants scattering in various directions.

The protesters had put plastic rubbish containers on Mew Way Road, thus blocking access for all motor vehicles.

But it was not long before the operators, sensing loss of income as a result of the protest during peak hour, chased after the protestors throwing the refuse back at them.

Residents of RR Section informal settlement abandoned the protest, sensing the ire of the operators.

A group of Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) members could be seen clearing the road, in time for the peak hour and to the relief of other road users.

The residents were demanding the installation of electricity services in the area.

Both Japhta Masemola and Mew Way roads were closed as officers from Law Enforcements looked on. That is, until the operators took on the protesters.

“We are working here, we can’t be dictated to by these people ... Some of whom had received houses in Mfuleni and then sold them, only to come back here.

“We can’t be idle the whole day, what are we going to say to our bosses?” shouted one of the taxi operators, only known as S’bu.

He said they have to operate for a living.

“We can’t tolerate this nonsense. They must go to hell,” he added.

Community leader Abongile Saba said the protest is perpetrated by a group of residents demanding electricity.

“Last night (on Monday), we had a meeting as the street committees of RR section, together with the councillor. He (councillor) came to give us feedback regarding the installation of electricity in the area,” said Saba adding that the councillor also informed them that mayor Patricia de Lille will do a site visit in the area on Thursday.

“We’ve been waiting for a long time for Eskom to install electricity. We don’t know what is delaying the project,” he said.

He said in the meeting, the leaders became divided, with others who wanted to protest while other leaders said they must wait ’til the mayor arrived.

Ward 89 councillor Monde Nqulwana confirmed that De Lille will visit the area to have an engagement with community leaders­.

“The City is busy engaging with Prasa for the land because the area is on private land.

“Eskom is ready to install electricity any time, but is waiting for a go-ahead from the City. We have already identified shacks that are going to be moved for the installation,” he said, but didn’t specify where they are going to relocate the occupants or when.

Nqulwana said about R21m was budgeted for installation of the electricity in the area.

“The relocation of people was supposed to have begun by now ’til October.

“And we have about 1800 shacks that need to be installed with electricity,” he said.

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