UPDATE | Protesting taxi operators bring Pietermaritzburg to a complete standstill

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Motorists were on Tuesday morning advised to steer clear of Dr Chota Motala Road and the CBD in Pietermaritzburg due to protest action by taxi operators.

Beginning their protest from as early as 6.30 am, taxi drivers blockaded entrances and exit spots on Dr Chota Motala Road with their taxis, leading into the CBD, as well as main routes into town and outside the taxi rank in Langalibalele Street.

The taxi strike also created traffic backlogs on the N3 freeway.

Other routes affected included Ohrtmann Road, Chatterton Road, Victoria Road, Boshoff, Boom, and Greyling streets.

A motorist told The Witness that she is trying to get to Willowton Road from the city centre but has been stuck in traffic for 45 minutes.

Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) spokesperson Zinhle Mali said traffic was at a go slow due to the taxi protest.

Taxi drivers said they met late on Monday night to discuss transport providers Uber and Bolt operating in the city without valid permits.

These taxi drivers said they want answers from the mayor and Department of Transport regarding these private taxis.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed the taxis are blocking intersections into the CBD because they are unhappy about Ubers and Bolts operating without permits. 

By 2.30pm on Tuesday, Santaco regional chairperson Bheki Sokhela told The Witness that all taxi operators had been advised to go back to work as of 1pm.

“As is evident, the streets have been returned back to order and our taxis are back to servicing the public,” said Sokhela.

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