On Monday, June 22, South African taxi drivers protested in Pretoria and Johannesburg (Gauteng province) over the lack of financial support from the government during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Dozens of taxis blocked roads and were confronted by police and the military. Public transport was reportedly overwhelmed as commuters had to find other means of transportation.
Further demonstrations over the issue are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Taxis in South Africa have been limited to 70-percent capacity under social distancing measures, placing strain on an industry that depends on full occupancy to turn a profit. When combined with lower demand due to restrictions on opening workplaces, the measures have caused a significant loss of income for South Africa's taxi drivers, prompting the government to announce a one-time payment to drivers on Friday, June 19. This payment, linked to government plans to formalize the industry, was deemed insufficient by taxi drivers, leading to protests.
Individuals in Pretoria and Johannesburg are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer