GEORGE NEWS - The local taxi industry continues to suspend its services for the fourth day.
This follows a stand-off between the taxi industry and local authorities after a number of taxis were impounded earlier this week. This led to taxi owners suspending their operations in protest of what they say is unfair treatment and intimidation by provincial traffic and local authorities.
Many commuters have been left stranded since Wednesday.
Farryl Payne, Director of Traffic Law Enforcement in the Western Cape, confirmed that 13 taxis were impounded in the province by the provincial traffic services last week, as opposed to the 40 impounded taxis that Xola Swapi from the George Community Forum claimed.
Payne said over 1000 vehicles were pulled over, and denies that the operations specifically targeted taxis.
"This is a sting operation that integrated all relevant law enforcers, provincially and locally. We are enforcing the law to all motorists, we are not singling out anyone," said Payne.
The unfolding of these events has seen four vehicles torched, two belonging to municipal traffic services, one private vehicle belonging to a George Link employee and a private vehicle belonging to a provincial traffic officer.
Yesterday, the Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, released a statement stating that he plans to shutdown taxi ranks in George following the stand-off.
“I, as the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, have published a notice in the Government Gazette, making known my intention to implement extraordinary measures to protect commuters and secure infrastructure,” said Grant.
However, no taxi ranks have been closed as yet.
This morning, Swapi said the taxis continue to be suspended and that they are meeting with Uncedo. Only at this meeting will a decision be made as to what direction they will take.
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