Millions of South Africans use taxis every day as their main source of transport and this has made the taxi industry a major player in the economy.
A resident of Malanshof, Wayne van Vuren said he noticed taxis taking liberties and parking where they pleased. “On the corner of Hill Street and Malibongwe Drive, taxis are making this a new taxi parking lot and pick-up [oint] which is very dangerous for drivers and pedestrians,” Van Vuren said.
He also made mention of the corner of CR Swart Drive and Fabriek Street in Strijdom Park where taxis park, attracting vendors and, in turn, becoming a place of litter.
“When are controls going to be enforced or is this a lawless country when it comes to our roads?” he asked.
“We need action and the authorities to tell them this is illegal and to move [them on]. This needs to be cleaned up.”
The deputy chairperson for the Randburg United Local and Long Distance Taxi Association, Daniel Dembe said the critical issue that led to their drivers parking on Malibongwe Drive was that the taxi rank in the Randburg CBD was too small and could not accommodate all the taxis, and there were no alternatives.
“What should be noted is that there are passengers who use our taxis every day and they work all over Randburg including Malanshof. They need to be at work on time and, therefore, our drivers park closer to accommodate them,” Dembe explained.
He added that they had tried to get the City of Johannesburg to allocate a piece of land that was adjacent to their rank where they could park, but that was denied as residents had objected to this.
The association has more than 300 taxis that drive along the Strijdom Park, Cosmo City and Diepsloot routes, carrying passengers who work all over Randburg. There is a total of 12 different taxi associations that operate from the Randburg CBD taxi rank.
He pointed out that even before the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the association had made a request to the provincial government to assist them with this issue, but still nothing had been resolved.
“The government must think of the passengers who voted for them,” Dembe said. “There is no cover for passengers, who get rained on and stand in the hot sun while waiting to be picked up. It is also important to remember that crime happens everywhere and that most of our passengers are women. The taxis park closer to prevent the women from being raped, or worse. The Randburg CBD is far from most places around the area.”
He pleaded with residents to help the taxi industry to overcome its challenges and to rather work alongside them.