The Pretoria taxi strike has kicked off on schedule in major parts of the Gauteng province, causing a huge backlog of traffic.
Pretoria taxi strike: Why is the industry protesting?
The protest, led by the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) is a show of frustration towards Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula who, they say, has blatantly ignored numerous requests for a meeting.
The taxi industry also demands answers on the whereabouts of the Covid-19 Relief Fund package that was earmarked for them that, apparently, never materialised.
Important information about the strike
Therefore, on Wednesday, scores of taxi drivers and owners will take part in a two-leg march. First, the protesters will drop off a memorandum of demands at the Department of Transport offices situated on Bosman and Paul Kruger Road.
Thereafter, the marchers will head to the Union Buildings to drop off a letter for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attention.
The protest action is expected to end at 15:00, with traffic disrupted for the most part of the day.
Pretoria taxi strike: Latest traffic updates on Wednesday 18 November
At the time of publishing this article, taxi protesters had blocked off the N1 north at the N17 in Pretoria, rendering the busy interchange inoperable.
The only alternative route available to motorists is the Soweto highway which, as a result of the taxi strike, is also heavily backed up.
The NTA has made it clear that it has made arrangements for matric finalists on the day of the protests. According to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, matriculants affected by the strike will be allowed an extra hour to be late.
Bus services in Pretoria have been instructed to allow pupils in school uniform to travel for free. Alternatively, pupils can write their exam at any school close to their home.
All major routes are heavily backed up by traffic. Motorists are advised to avoid travelling until things cool down after 15:00, barring no violence breaks out in the taxi strike.