Monday, May 17, 2021

Taxi strike stops Lobatse in its tracks

A massive disruption of transport hit Lobatse this week following work stoppage by taxi drivers on Friday. The action was protest against bus operators moves to push taxi drivers out of business.

Trouble started when buses ferrying passengers from Kanye, Molapowajang, Digawana, Metlojane and Ramatlabama would go through Lobatse town, dropping people at their places of work instead of the bus rank.

“Bus operators are supposed to drop passengers at the bus rank so that from there they board taxis into town,” said Louis Kaimana, Deputy Chairperson at Sesarona Taxi Association.

Kaimana said Lobatse taxi drivers are disgruntled that their business is being hijacked by bus operators.

“Their permits clearly stipulate that from their various places buses should go straight to the rank not through town,” said Kaimana.

The situation remained tense late Friday, with all taxi drivers staging a massive sit in, opting to park at the bus rank. It left scores of passengers stranded, as taxis are the dominant means of transport within Lobatse.

“There are no kombi’s in Lobatse because they were taken out of business by the bus operators so we cannot sit and watch the same happening to us,” said Kaimana.

Meanwhile, the association has approached the transport officer in Lobatse to settle this issue.
“We will only return to work when this issue has been resolved,” Kaimana said, adding that the association had engaged a lawyer to turn the issue into a court case.

“We have approached our lawyer and applications have been made to make it an urgent case that needs to be solved at the high court,” he said.

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