Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association members were locked in a meeting yesterday (Monday) trying to find a lasting solution to route grievances raised by drivers.
This urgent meeting followed after some unhappy drivers blocked a main road in Hout Bay making it difficult to go in or out on Friday morning.
With the intervention of City of Cape Town later in the day things went back to normal following the protest that cause severe traffic congestion on Friday morning.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Road at the Hout Bay Main Road Traffic Circle was blockaded by taxis from Wynberg-Hout Bay. It is alleged that they were disgruntled over taxi routes. Commuters had to walk whilst others had to sit in snail-paced traffic jam. The City had to open up the road and some taxis were towed away.
Samkelo Krweqe, a member of Hout Bay Taxi Association, says it was unruly behaviour from the other drivers.
“We approached them (Wynberg-Hout Bay taxis) to work together or rent the route. It wasn’t working well for us. So we approached the City to ask if we can explore another route which was the Claremont one. No one was operating there and the City agreed,” he says.
Taxi drivers have begun transporting people from Hout Bay to Claremont because there was no direct service between the two suburbs.
“Business grew with time on this route. When we are operating, there will always be competition but we must do it right. Instead those drivers became jealous,’’ he says.
“The Wynberg drivers are unhappy about this and have demanded that the Hout Bay drivers buy R80 000 permits and a joining fee of R30 000.
“On top of that we had to pay R700 for rent and additional R2 800 for just being on the road. Some of us didn’t have a problem with that as we wanted to work. We proposed to pay in instalments but they never agreed,” added Krweqe.
After trying to go to the table for some time with the other drivers Krweqe says they never agreed to anything.
“The mother body (CATA) then reached a consensus that we operate on the route since the other drivers refused to come and to an agreement,” he says.
Krweqe says he drives a Siyaya taxi and he does not make a lot of money
“It was really unfair to pay so much so we explored the other route but they are jealous now. They want us to work on ‘gap gap’, which means (each taxi loads and then allows time for other taxis to load passengers before loading again). It’s not going to work.”