Combi drivers are up in arms against taxi drivers who are allegedly charging less fare than the combis.
On Thursday morning, the Combi drivers (Tlokweng and Broadhurst) marched to the taxi rank in Gaborone and ordered the public not to board the taxis.
The combi drivers indicated that the public is supposed to board combi’s to go to the Main Mall, Princess Marina Hospital and the University of Botswana but is, instead, using taxis and paying P3.30.
The combis are charging P3.90.
They demanded that the taxis be taken special (hired) or for them to charge the passengers P3.90 like the combis are doing.
Police on duty realised the commotion and noise from the angry drivers and intervened.
“We were able to calm them down because the combi drivers had gone to stop people from boarding taxis, alleging that the taxi drivers are taking their customers,” said Borakanelo Assistant Station Commander, Superintendent Kealositse Konyana.
He said next time they would charge combi drivers with obstruction of road users or common nuisance should they continue with the same behavior, adding that they had to engage more police men to get the situation under control.
“We addressed them to the effect that if they have complaints they should communicate them to the Transport Department or report them to us instead of obstructing road users,” said Konyana.
Lazarus Ncube, the Route Manager at the Tlokweng combis, said the issue started about 2 years ago. He said they reported it to the transport people who took no action.
“Taxi people are taking our customers and charging them less money than the combis do,” complained Ncube.
He said the taxis should not be on the same routes with combi’s but should take the passengers straight to where they are going, unlike the combis.
He said the reason they took action and went to stop passengers from boarding taxis is because a day before, the police made an operation to stop the issue they were complaining about and impounded a number of taxis but when the owners complained, the transport department released the vehicles.
Ncube said if nothing is done in a week’s time, they will take action again.