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#TaxiStrike: 'Avoid Jozi roads and stay calm' – AA

2017-06-15 09:15

Image: iStock

Johannesburg - Thousands of motorists were left stranded on highways in Gauteng as a huge taxi strike disrupted traffic on Thursday morning.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson Wayne Minnaar told News24 that taxis were blocking roads and travelling on the N1, N3 and N12.

Motorists affected by this morning’s taxi strike and accompanying blockades, should avoid these areas at all costs, and, if they are caught up in the stoppages, remain as calm as possible, the Automobile Association advises.

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The AA says: "The first rule is don’t put yourself in a position where your safety is comprised. Social media is a good way of monitoring developments, as are regular updates on local radio stations. We also appeal to all companies to understand workers may have an issue getting to work this morning, and to appreciate the difficulties many are faced with in terms of transport." 
 
The Association also expresses its concern at the way the South African National Taxi Association (SANTACO) communicated its plans to the public.

 
"SANTACO only mentioned it was going to be handing a memorandum to the directors of SA Taxi Finance, but this messaging was misleading. Not only have its members blocked major routes in Gauteng, arterial routes are also closed off, preventing thousands of people from commuting this morning. It must take full responsibility for the chaos, and should be held to account for its actions," the AA says.
 
In addition, the AA says authorities should have handled the situation better: "Reports suggest taxis have been blockading roads from as early as 3am this morning, and the question must be posed as to why this was allowed to happen."

While avoiding roads is an option for some motorists, the association says those who are on the road must be vigilant, and consider their own safety above all else. 
 
Other tips for motorists unexpectedly caught in the middle of a possible violent situation include:
 
  1 Stay in your car as long as possible
  2 Unbuckle your seatbelt, and those of any passengers, to be prepared to exit your car quickly
  3 Keep your car moving as far as you can, whilst checking for possible escape routes
  4 Avoid hitting any protestors with your vehicle as this may turn the mob against you
  5 Do not taunt the protestors by shouting, gesticulating or hooting at them
  6 Remain as calm as possible to ensure you are aware of what is going on around you
  7 Seek assistance or safety from the police as quickly as you can. If you do not see the police, call them.
  8  Listen to police instructions
  9 If you are stuck and the situation seems to be turning, leave your car and get out of the area on foot. Remember your life is more valuable than your car or any possessions inside
  10 Once you are personally safe (with or without your vehicle) call family or friends to let them know where you are, and what is happening.

 


The AA concludes: "We are optimistic today’s action will be resolved quickly, and won’t be repeated again soon. However, if there are indications this may happen again, we trust SANTACO will act more responsibly, and that authorities will respond better." 

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