CAPE TOWN – At least 30 arrests were made early Thursday morning as taxi operators shut down Prince George Drive for the second day to protest against illegal operators on their route.
On Wednesday, shortly after 10am several taxis blocked off Prince George Drive at the Military Road intersection in an attempt to stop illegal taxis from operating between Vrygrond and Blue Route Mall.
Jay-Jay Maans, chairperson of the Retreat Taxi Association (RTA), said they have had enough of illegal operators, who are allegedly members of the Vrygrond Taxi Association (VTA), “stealing their business”.
“This problem has been going on since 2009 and government has done nothing to intervene or put a stop to it. We have about 95 drivers and guards who are losing out on income and they have stolen almost 70% of our business,” he says.
#AATrafficCPT Steenberg ROAD CLOSED between Concert Boulevard and Vrygrond Avenue due to TAXI VIOLENCE MILITARY ROAD – Both Ways
Authorities were on the scene, and the drivers later dispersed peacefully at 12:30pm.
Transport department spokesperson, Siphesihle Dube, says the Provincial Transport Registrar has instituted disciplinary action against the VTA for contravening the code of conduct for taxi associations by taking on unregistered and unlicensed members, flooding routes with illegal operators and preventing legal operators from RTA from entering certain areas.
“VTA has used every opportunity to delay, frustrate and hinder the Registrar’s process, with their latest attempt, in last week, being a request for a High Court order to stop the process.”
“This attempt was unsuccessful, with the High Court dismissing VTA’s case and the department securing a cost order against the association,” said Dube.
Cape Town Traffic Principal Inspector Maxine Bezuidenhout confirmed Thursday morning’s incident and said all roads have since been reopened, and will continue to be monitored by police.
“All roads along Price George Drive have been reopened. Law enforcement are currently monitoring the area. Approximately 30 protesters were detained (on Thursday morning) and taken to SAPS,” she said.