GEORGE NEWS - The dispute over public transport services has to be resolved once and for all because it has a major impact on the lives of thousands of commuters.
So says Elize Davids who works at a local building supplies store and is fed-up with the struggle she has because she is dependent on public transport.
She was approached for comment on the taxi strike today, Monday 20 May, and the Go George service that is only partially operational because of the resultant safety concerns.
"Whatever issues there are between the taxi industry and the public bus service must be sorted out. Days like today is a massive problem. We get to work late and it is not allowed. Some people are single parents and perhaps already have warnings on their file, 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 today because of threats from the taxi industry, so some people chose to let their children stay at home. "There is a whole ripple effect. 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 the hotel arranged for alternative transport to take housekeeping personnel home this afternoon. "I had to walk all the way from Thembalethu to college this morning. It is not safe to try to get a lift."
Protea King George Hotel assistant general manager 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 can't go to school and people living in Thembalethu losing money because they can't work."
Far Hills Hotel said they have a permanent private arrangement to transport their staff and they are 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 from 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 said they also use private transport. "90% of our people are here today. Some could not get out of Thembalethu."
Read related articles:
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- Update: Go George schedule on Sunday
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- 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
- Taxis block Go George hub
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