GEORGE NEWS - The dispute over public transport services has to be resolved once and for all, as it has a major impact on the lives of thousands of commuters.
So says a fed-up Elize Davids, who works at a local building supplies store and is dependent on public transport.
She was approached for comment on Monday 20 May about the taxi strike and the Go George bus service that was only partially operational because of safety concerns.
"Whatever issues there are between the taxis and the buses must be sorted out. Days like today is a massive problem. We get to work late. Some people already have warnings on their files, then they come late because of something they cannot control. The boss does not understand that."
She said that bus operators contracted to transport pupils told parents that their children would be transported at own risk on Monday because of threats from the taxi industry, so some people kept their children at home.
"I think there should be more than one transport system. There should be competition. Whenever there is a strike affecting the one, the other one can take over, as happened some time ago when Go George drivers went on strike.
"They cannot let their fight over a transport system affect so many lives in such extreme ways. We are all suffering."
A Thembalethu resident, Zisiwe Gqbisa, who attends South Cape College in the mornings and works as receptionist at a hotel in the afternoons, said she had to walk all the way from Thembalethu to college on Monday. "It is not safe to try to get a lift."
Assistant general manager at Protea King George Hotel, Ikeraam Abdurahman, said the strike affected their staff attendance figures. "It is also painful for management because we have to go into Thembalethu to fetch staff, and we are somewhat nervous.
"However, everything was quiet in Thembalethu this morning. The saddest part is the kids who cannot go to school and people living in Thembalethu losing money because they cannot work."
Far Hills Country Hotel has a permanent private arrangement to transport their staff and was not affected.
At RAW Projects, all staff members arrived, although some were late because they had to walk to work.
Game manager Rudolph Serfontein said all his staff were present. Only two guards were late because they had to walk from home.
Wian Liebenberg of Salina's Restaurant in Wilderness said they have to provide private transport to employees and he expressed disappointment that Go George is still not servicing the Wilderness area.
Spar Wilderness also uses private transport. "90% of our people are here today. Some could not get out of Thembalethu."
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- Update: Taxi suspension continues
- George Community Forum responds to Grant
- Grant plans to shut down taxi ranks in George
- Stranded commuters walk to work
- Commuters stranded
- Taxi operations suspended
- Update: Taxis block CBD
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