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Metered taxi drivers strike causes traffic chaos

A strike by metered taxi drivers caused chaos on roads near OR Tambo International Airport on Friday morning.

According to Ekurhuleni Metro Police, the drivers started blocking Voortrekker Road next to the airport, by parking and abandoning their vehicles on the road.

Metered taxi drivers also blocked the R21 at Pamona Road.

The EMPD called in tow trucks to remove the vehicles.

“We called in nyalas and tried to negotiate but they didn’t listen,” said EMPD spokesperson Kobeli Mokhoseng.

metered taxi

However, the metered taxi drivers have since then begun driving in convoy on the R21 in both directions, affecting traffic between Atlas Road and Voortrekker Road and blocking the highway.

The drivers did there same on the R24 freeway both ways between Barbara Road and Jones Road.

Traffic in the area has been heavily affected.

OR Tambo airport issued a statement saying it cannot assess the impact of the delays at this point.

“However, what is known is that road travellers on both the R21 and R24 this morning may experience major delays and therefore need to prepare for such,” said airport spokesperson, Leigh Gunkel-Keuler.

It is unclear what the protest is about but there are suggestions it could be related to metered taxi drivers’ ongoing dispute with Uber. In March 2017, metered taxis held a similar protest against Uber on the R24 near the airport.

While no violence has been reported, the fire department was called when a vehicle was set alight in Isando on Electron Road, which runs parallel to the R24. The department suspects it was an Uber vehicle.

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“There is a heavy police presence around the protests. Up to now, there have been no casualties or violence,” said Mokhoseng.

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