Taxi drivers and their gaatjies in Bonteheuwel are up in arms over a new system they say is robbing them of their income.
The Bonteheuwel Taxi Association say the new operation is meant to weed out pirate taxis and bring order to “chaotic” day-to-day operations.
But taxi drivers and gaatjies say it has left a dent in their pockets, with earnings going from an average of “R400 a day to as little as R30”.
As of Wednesday, all drivers were expected to report to the Bonteheuwel Civic Centre in the morning, from where they will wait in line for their loads.
BTA secretary Sedick Zoutenberg said the new system is needed to restore order innie Bontas.
“At the moment there is no control and anyone can do as they please,” he said.
“We therefore are in dire need of some structure and discipline within Bonteheuwel. At the start there will be a lot of teething problems and we hope that our service improves for the benefit of all,” he said.
BTA Operations Manager Mogamat Lee says the system will also ensure commuters’ safety.
“Each and every taxi must be legal and every driver must have legal documentation,” he tells Daily Voice.
“Every vehicle has been numbered. Should there be a problem with that vehicle then we have their record and we can tell the owner about the problem.
“Also, should there be complaints from commuters then we can take that up with the association.”
But the angry drivers say they want the new system scrapped or they will not go on the road.
Driver Armien Abrahams, 40, says he went from earning R400 a day to just R35.
“(On Wednesday) I took home R35 and I worked from 5.30am to 6.30pm, I waited four hours for one load,” he says.
“I have a wife, four kids and I have bills to pay.”
Rashaad Teegler, 58, says he took home R53 on Wednesday.
“I have nine children and my youngest is a two-year-old,” he says.
“I would normally make between R700 and R1 000 a day but now I go home with nothing. Some of my regular customers already said they are going to buy bus tickets.”
Armien added that if the BTA wanted to get rid of pirate taxis, “concentrate on them and not on us, we have legal vans”.