Potholes damaging our vehicles - taxi drivers

2014-04-23 20:38
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Orange Farm minibus taxi drivers are battling to maintain their vehicles because of potholes in the area, taxi operators complained on Wednesday.

Driving in Orange Farm and surrounding areas such as Sebokeng and Evaton in Gauteng remained a nightmare, drivers said at the Orange Farm taxi rank, south of Johannesburg.

"Almost 90% of the road here has potholes, and we have to fix our cars, pay traffic fines, bribe traffic officers and still feed our families," disgruntled driver Thulani Nkosi said.

He was among a number of taxi operators in Orange Farm who received a visit from Gauteng government officials and police to discuss road safety.

Nkosi accused the government of seeking to destroy the taxi industry.

"They want the Rea Vaya buses to operate all over Gauteng. That is why they are trying to kill our industry."

Minibus drivers said traffic officers demanded bribes, or "cooldrink money".

"Traffic cops stop us almost every day and demand to see operating permits, and they know most of us don't have permits and then ask for cooldrink money," driver Mandla Danisi said.


Gauteng community safety department spokesperson Thapelo Moiloa said taxi drivers should refuse to pay bribes and report the officers concerned. He said taxi drivers disregarding the rules of the road would be arrested.

"Law enforcement is non-negotiable."

Moiloa said the department received many complaints from residents about taxi drivers speeding and not adhering to traffic rules.

"Residents complain about taxi drivers in the Orange Farm area, that they stop as they like and do not apply basic road safety rules," Moiloa said.

Some taxi drivers said commuters did not know what they wanted and often confused drivers.

"Sometimes commuters tell us to hurry up because they are late, sometimes they tell us to go slow," Sfiso Khumalo said.

He said commuters often treated drivers like animals.

"They undermine us and call us names, but we carry their lives and they just sit there and fart on our seats."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  transport

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