Cape Town taxi rank swamped due to bus strike

2017-04-13 14:37
Passengers queue for rides to Hanover Park at Cape Town’s taxi rank on Wednesday. (Ground Up)

Passengers queue for rides to Hanover Park at Cape Town’s taxi rank on Wednesday. (Ground Up)

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Cape Town- Cape Town’s taxi rank had long queues and significant delays on Wednesday afternoon due to the nationwide bus drivers’ strike, GroundUp reports.

Hundreds of commuters waited for upwards of an hour to catch their rides home.

"The queue has been terrible," said Fezera Mzaca, a 26-year-old Khayelitsha-bound taxi regular, who arrived at work two hours late on Wednesday morning.

"This is what we are going to be doing. Standing in the queue for a long time and waking up earlier."

Robert Sakihle, a 42-year-old taxi driver, said long-term congestion of the taxi routes was unlikely. “It won’t be a problem because it’s only bus strikers,” he said.

"People are taking the train because it’s cheaper."

Mzaca had waited over an hour for her taxi home to Site B, and was just under half way through the queue which had doubled upon itself. It wrapped from the loading side of the rank, to the rear of the structure and back again. She said she usually waited 15 minutes before getting a taxi home.

More than just an inconvenience, she said she feared for her own safety on the trip into town on Thursday morning. Mzaca planned to leave Khayelitsha at 04:00 instead of 05:30 as usual, and was worried about carrying valuables, like her phone and wallet, with her.

"Waking up earlier also means putting your life in danger because there’s thugs everywhere," she said.

By 17:30 there were lengthy queues at all of the loading areas at the rank.

Taxis arrived sporadically to pick up commuters. Queues for taxis to the most popular routes - Khayelitsha, Harare, Milnerton, Macassar and Delft - had doubled up on themselves.

Mpho Phosa, a 31-year-old man from Brooklyn, who said he preferred taking MyCiTi buses because they are "quicker, more comfortable and reliable", received news of the strike on Tuesday evening.

He left an hour earlier on Wednesday morning, but was still late to work. "My schedule is going to have to change," he said.

Other travellers, though, like Wendy Motlhanke, 30, from Macassar, were doubtful any additional preparation could solve the congestion as long as the buses were not running.

"I woke up at 05:00 to be early and from my house it is a five minute walk to the taxi. It didn’t make any difference. I still came late for work," she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  myciti  |  golden arrow  |  transport  |  taxi's  |  protests  |  strikes

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