Santaco distances itself from EFF taxi 'shutdown' in Cape Town
A group of EFF protesters set off on a march through Cape Town on Monday to protest against taxi impoundments in the Western Cape — even though the taxi industry has distanced itself from the event.
By 1pm, marchers were moving through Athlone towards the Ndabeni pound, where EFF leaders are expected to speak. The event, billed as another provincial shutdown, had only drawn about 100 protesters.
An EFF march notification said the event was prompted by “unjust taxi impoundments” and “taxi passengers' harassment”.
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in the province, however, says it has nothing to do with the protest and insists its taxis are operating as normal.
“Santaco-WC are aware of messages circulating on social media and other platforms of a planned taxi strike and we wish to reiterate to members of the public that this is not a Santaco-led or planned shutdown/march,” the taxi council said in a statement.
The City of Cape Town was quick to respond with assurances that the march would be closely monitored.
In a Facebook post, MMC for safety and security JP Smith said: “The city has an operational plan for the day in case any protest becomes violent or disrupts traffic.
“Our operational plan includes provisions for addressing public disorder and violence, using technologies such as drones and CCTV for effective response.
“The city will not hesitate to pursue criminal and civil legal action against organisers or political parties responsible for gatherings or protests resulting in violence or damage to public or private property.”
Police spokesperson W/O Joseph Swartbooi told TimesLIVE: “Law enforcement agencies led by the South African Police Service were deployed early this morning, to be visible on the planned route and to prevent any eventuality.”