Nkandla – The slow process of the issuing of taxi permits by the Department of Transport is a nationwide problem, the chairperson of the Nkandla Taxi Association said on Monday.In March, taxi drivers in KwaZulu-Natal went on strike after their taxis were impounded during the Easter holidays for allegedly not having permits. Drivers complained at the time that the department dragged its feet in the issuing process.Nkandla Taxi Association chairperson Tusokwakhe Manqele said the slow issuing of taxi permits is a nationwide problem. (Amanda Khoza/News24)News24 met with chairperson Tusokwakhe Manqele at Nkandla's busy taxi rank to establish what some of the issues were that taxi drivers faced.Manqele said taxis ferried commuters from all over Nkandla including places like Qhudeni, Nkonisa, Emahlayizeni and Dlabe."We have the same problems as the other associations around the country. We are also complaining about the slow process of issuing of permits to our drivers."He said police impounded their taxis while owners were waiting for the Department of Transport to issue their permits."They take the vehicles because we don't have permits but the problem is in Pietermaritzburg. They are too slow on issuing permits but other than that, we are fine," said Manqele.Manqele said there were 182 owners under the association and there were more than 400 taxis operating in the small town and surrounding areas."We have a good working relationship with the local drivers, there are no problems."However, KZN Department of Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane disputed this, saying the department had opened a new office in Empangeni to deal with the issuing of permits."This office in Uthungulu District Municipality has been opened to assist them, that association should go there with the necessary documentation and they will be assisted," said Ncalane.