Heavy police presence at KZN toll plaza

2012-07-25 11:51

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.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • Squeegee - 2012-07-25 11:58

    Test every one of those taxis for road worthiness. Impound them. Check licenses and arrest those who don't have. All of them are together - use the opportunity to clean up their act. Check for outstanding tickets, warrants, etc. That will get them going.

      Henk - 2012-07-25 12:48

      You think Metro has the balls to do that?

      bones.mine - 2012-07-25 13:30

      They will never have the balls to do that. In fact, these metro idiots are not even real cops, the majority of them are criminals. The old railway police were miles better than these thugs.

      mholthuysen - 2012-07-26 12:55

      Hmmm just one problem - and that would be the ball less corrupt and inefficient Metro Police which is having a braai at Blue Lagoon; or enjoying some free leisure time... :-)

  • JManAtheoi - 2012-07-25 12:05

    "No incidents have been reported..." give it time..

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-07-25 12:09

    Even if the government takes all the guns in SA away, it will still not stop the bloodbath and death toll on the roads caused by taxis daily. For the taxi's to throw temper tantrums will also not help. You either abide by the traffic rules, laws and pay for taxes like any other citizen of this country, make sure that your vehicles are maintained or you don't. If you don't it makes you just as guilty as the next murderer and or criminal. The people you are transporting are at the end of the day your bread and butter. If you don't have any regard for their lives, why should you get "special" treatment?

      Henk - 2012-07-25 12:48

      GUNS DO NOT KILL!!! People kill!

  • martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-25 12:12

    5c pieces is how i pay traffic fines, and got plenty more where that came from lol

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-25 12:14

      let the taxis come, allocATE them one lane, and let them que for 4 hours

      Squeegee - 2012-07-25 12:18

      Let their customers pay them in 5c pieces...

      goyougoodthing - 2012-07-25 12:21

      I don't pay them, at all.

      jackie.stone.501 - 2012-07-25 12:48

      @mbritch Get over it, why would they do that while their strike is legal.

  • Henk - 2012-07-25 12:44

    You should not pay with 5 cents but with R100 Rand notes! Everybody should pay all tolls with R100 Rand notes every single bloody time!

  • Lennon Chenga - 2012-07-25 12:59

    I don't see what the problem is here, just give each cashier a scale like they do with coins in banks. No need to insult each other!

  • terrence.zulu.9 - 2012-07-25 13:05

    I cant believe what i read here.a mini bus taxi going at 50KPH.this will make history,believe me.

  • issa.kabudula - 2012-07-25 13:10

    This tax industry which many of us regard it as stupid business, if well managed and government intervention on funding it to operate better, we can create employment to our youths, make logistics of people to and from work easy, we can prevent crime, we can empower the people and many other opportunities which I see can be developed in this industry. The tax owners must have a crush course on human resources, cash floww management, investment, communication, and so are the drivers - these people make alot of money every day but they themselves misuse it, either due to lack of information or otherwise. Their strike do concern every one - from the president to the ordinary human being in the street. They are no madmen/women in the industry but they are forced sometimes to be in those situations. For example where the owner demands more money per day knowingly that it is impossible, underpaying the drivers, irresponsible driving and crime breeding all these are due to lack of intervention from government. The system of Metro police hidden camera - that is cheating poor people to pay the service by force, put the cameras where people can see, it is up to an individual to break the law and not by force - thank you.

  • henry.bose.39 - 2012-07-25 13:13

    The traffic in Durbs today must be a pleasure with the trash off the streets.

  • sherwyn.king - 2012-07-25 14:19

    Please if any has the latest updates as when this will end and if this will affect tomorrow let me know.

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