Illegal taxi rank war in Roodepoort

Taxi driver Fhatuwani Raedani said employees will suffer if the JMPD prevents taxis from operating in Weltevreden Park. Photo: Siso Naile.

The Joburg Metro Police (JMPD) has vowed to continue slapping taxi drivers with fines for illegally ranking on the side of the road in most parts of Roodepoort.

Mike Smith, the deputy director and regional commander of the JMPD, said until taxis approach the City’s Transport Department about the establishment of legal taxi-ranks, the JMPD will continue to enforce the by-laws.

“[If] they are an illegal taxi rank, we will fine them! The city has by-laws, which means they should approach the Department of Transport,which will allocate space for them to rank,” Smith urged.

Taxi operations on the corner of JG Strydom Road and Cornelius Street in Weltevreden Park (opposite Palm Court Shopping Centre) recently came under fire when local residents voiced their grievances about ranking in the area.

The issue was tabled at a Sector 2 Honeydew CPF meeting where the structure appealed to the JMPD to get rid of the operation.

Following a number of fines issued to the taxi drivers recently, the drivers at the precinct have expressed their dissatisfaction, saying they are being abused for servicing the community.

Fhatuwani Raedani, who has been a taxi driver in the area for six years, confirmed that they are issued with punishment fines for operating in the area by the authorities. “JMPD comes and issues tickets [fines] to taxi drivers operating at Palm Court,” he said.

He suggested that the JMPD should approach the Randburg United Local and Long-distance Taxi Association to deal with the matter, because if they were to walk away a lot would be at stake.

“If we were to stop operating because of the JMPD, passengers without alternative transport would suffer,” Raedani explained.

He went on to say that the taxi operation catered for passengers who work in and around the area. He gave an example, saying that employees travelling from Diepsloot or Honeydew would battle to get to work as this operation is their only source of transportation.

Smith also revealed that illegal taxi ranks are the result of taxi drivers trying to avoid paying rank fees at their respective associations. He also indicated the issue at Palm Court is small, compared to that on Hendrik Potgieter Road.

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