GEORGE NEWS - The leaders of the minibus taxi industry in George ordered all taxis to cease operating yesterday afternoon following a traffic blitz on taxis since Monday. Taxi operators blocked off the Go George bus hub in the CBD yesterday morning demanding that all impounded taxis be released.
By 10:00 authorities managed to convince taxi drivers to move their vehicles and buses resumed their service.
Municipal spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose confirmed that the Go George bus schedules were slightly delayed. Shortly after 10:00 yesterday the routes were back to normal.
Speaking on behalf of the taxi industry, Xola Swapi of the George Community Forum accused the provincial government, traffic officials and George Municipality of working together to get the taxis off the road in order to make way for the roll-out of Go George in Thembalethu and surrounding areas.
After meeting with the local authorities late on Wednesday morning, Swapi, acting chairman of the forum, said taxi drivers and owners were being victimised.
"They say the taxis do not have permits. That is not true. This is all about Go George, but the minister (National transport minister Blade Nzimande) came and said all parties must negotiate until June.
"We want all taxis to be released and the ghost squad must go back to Cape Town. They are not from here."
He claims about 40 taxis have been impounded this week.
Swapi said the taxi service will remain suspended till further notice. He apologised for the inconvenience.
Official comment from the authorities to Swapi's allegations could not be obtained in time before going to print and will be published online, but George Herald was informed that the authorities will not be swayed from enforcing traffic rules.
The various role players also intend to continue their negotiations with the taxi industry regarding the Go George roll-out.