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WATCH: Ekurhuleni Taxi Industry unhappy with Masina as mayor

20 March, 04:37 PM

Johannesburg – There was heavy police presence in Germiston on Tuesday morning as taxi drivers took to the streets to demand the removal of Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina.

Many commuters were left stranded as members of the Ekurhuleni Taxi Industry (ETI) marched from the Germiston taxi rank to the Ekurhuleni Civic Centre to deliver a memorandum to city officials.

The ETI gave the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality 30 days to remove Masina as mayor.

"Failure of the council to remove the mayor and the city manager will lead to the disruption of transport services in a [sustained] and prolonged manner," said South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) regional secretary BJ Mahlangu, reading the memorandum to city officials. He added that they "don't promise peaceful action" next time.

According to Mahlangu, Masina has neglected taxi drivers. He said that the delay of the implementation of the Harambee Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has had a negative impact on the economic growth of the taxi industry.

"They are continuously blocking roads by constructing the BRT that is never ending," he said.

Roads cleared

In the memorandum, Santaco stated that it had been trying to meet with the mayor for more than two years, but none of its letters had been acknowledged.

Mahlangu handed the memorandum to Petrus Mabunda, member of the mayoral committee for transport at the City of Ekurhuleni, to sign.

Mabunda said that most of the issues faced by the industry were administrative ones and that the mayor was giving this strike his full attention.

"The mayor has decided out of his own discretion that the chief operating officer be the one delegated to make sure that all those administrative issues that the industry is complaining about are dealt with quickly and to the satisfaction of the industry."

Even though business was disrupted, the protest remained peaceful and taxi drivers eventually cleared the roads in Germiston once the memorandum was handed over and signed.

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