The South African Taxi Industry in Gauteng brought the country to a stand-still as early as 3:30am on Thursday morning. The strike wass against a 28 percent interest fee they pay monthly on their vehicles and taxi drivers claim it is too much and took to the streets in the early hours of dawn.
Taxi drivers claim their vehicles are being repossessed because of the interest fee and commuters are also finding it difficult because they cannot afford taxi.
Thousands of commuters were left stranded after the main routes between Johannesburg and Pretoria were blocked by protesting Gauteng taxi operators. Traffic authorities have urged motorists to be patient. Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar told News24 that taxis were blocking roads and travelling on the N1, N3 and N12.
According to Minnaar, taxi drivers hijacked trucks to block the Allendale offramp. "This started at around 3am. I cannot confirm any injuries. I can confirm taxi drivers hijacked trucks to block the freeway at Allendale off ramp."
Employers, employees & school children were affected, with the main routes closed & thousands stranded, speaking to the the magnitude and influence of the taxi industry.
South Africa's taxi industry caters for the majority of South Africans who can't afford private transport or more expensive alternatives. The number of commuters that travel day-to-day with taxis are in the millions.