Johannesburg taxi operators disrupted traffic in Soweto on Monday as they gathered to protest against vehicles being impounded. But officials say they will not be “blackmailed” into accepting unlawful vehicles on our roads.

Johannesburg taxi operators disrupted traffic in Soweto on Monday morning and left passengers stranded as they prepared to march to the city centre to protest against their vehicles being impounded and the taxi recapitalisation plan.

The march, organised by Top Six Taxi management group, was scheduled to begin at about 10 am in Newtown, but Johannesburg Metro spokesman CC Mackay told CARtoday.com that traffic was disrupted when taxi operators began gathering at about 8 am.

“They are protesting against the taxi recapitalisation plan, the fact that traffic officials have been impounding their vehicles, and the delay in issuing permits.

“The Transport Inspectorate has been clamping down on taxis not sticking to the conditions of their permits, those not in the areas they should be, unroadworthy and unlicensed taxis. These vehicles are impounded and drivers must pay R1 000 to have them released. They feel the fine is too high. But this is law enforcement and we have to have order on the roads,” Mackay said.

reported that about 2 000 marchers planned to hand over a memoranda to Gauteng transport MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu, Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa and officials at the ANC headquarters. The organisers said they would give the government seven days to respond to their demands.

Sizwe Matshikiza, spokesman for the Gauteng transport MEC, told CARtoday.com that the memorandum would be accepted, but officials would not stop impounding unlawful taxis. “Government will not be blackmailed into accepting unlawful vehicles on our roads,” he said.

The proceedings were expected to end by 1 pm.

Original article from Car