South Africa: Taxi Industry and City of Cape Town Harden Their Stances Amid Strike Violence and Mayhem

As commuters across Cape Town scrambled to find a way home on Thursday after minibus taxi drivers withdrew their services, the taxi industry wants the national government to intervene, while the city has promised to act against thuggery.

The mayhem began almost an hour after the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) announced on Thursday it would embark on a seven-day strike. Taxi owners and drivers, who were attending Santaco’s meeting in Makhaza, Cape Town, to decide on whether to strike, walked out of the venue and pelted a law enforcement vehicle with stones.

When word of the strike reached drivers at the Nyanga terminus, a Golden Arrow bus was set alight while commuters were inside. Daily Maverick could not establish whether anyone was injured in the attack.

As the violence escalated and commuters struggled to get home, city officials and the taxi industry appeared to double down on their positions.


“In the last two hours, we have responded to a blockade of the N2 by taxi drivers, numerous vehicles being set alight and sporadic incidents of stone-throwing,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith on Thursday evening.

“This includes petrol bomb attacks on four buses, three trucks and three panelvans or bakkies, as well as an ambulance. We also saw a Coca-Cola truck looted and an attack on a school.

“These actions speak of thuggery, criminality and contempt for the safety of all…

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