UPDATE: VIDEO: Hammanskraal wracked by taxi protest

Police said there was no entrance nor exit into Hammanskraal on Wednesday morning.

Protesters blocked the exits to Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, with burning tyres and rocks on Wednesday morning.

The protest started at around 04:00 with residents blockading the R101 with burning tyres and rocks.

“Traffic is not moving and all the shops – including the Jubilee Mall – are closed,” police spokesperson Sergeant Margaret Molane told Rekord.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Metro to engage parents on Hammanskraal taxi deal

She said there was no entry or exit into Hammanskraal.

Protesters were unhappy about the Tshwane metro’s agreement with taxi owners that prevents taxis from taking passengers all the way into the Pretoria CBD. Now commuters must also take A Re Yeng buses from drop-off points outside the CBD.

It is part of the metro’s efforts to relieve traffic congestion in the CBD by encouraging commuters to use municipal buses instead of minibus taxis.

Molane confirmed that Hammanskraal commuters clashed with taxi drivers, blocking the bus route in protest to the taxi associations’ agreement with the metro.

ALSO READ: Hammanskraal school for the deaf gets Cyberlab

The protesters allegedly burnt the Aarto & Hato offices in Hammanskraal.

“As commuters, we have a right to choose alternative transport mode, be it bus, taxi or train,” said protest organiser Thato Tshesane.

“The Tshwane metro is forcing us to travel via the A Re Yeng buses. We do not want to travel in these buses. We want taxis to be allowed to transport passengers into town.”

Police were monitoring the situation and keeping a tight watch at Jubilee Mall, which the protesters said to be targeting.

Watch video here:

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David Matsena

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