LEPHALALE — At least 22 taxis transporting workers to the Medupi construction site were impounded on Friday 11 March 2016 when the Lephalale Municipality traffic team took to the Medupi crossroad to search taxis/vehicles without proper staff transport permits.
The operation was a routine check up to see who was valid and who not. But taxi drivers and owners were upset with the operation saying that it was aimed at staff transport and not normal public transport.
One driver who wished to remain anonymous said that his taxi was transporting commuters to Steenbokpan (Leseding) and had nothing to with the workers permit but his car was impounded anyway. “I was stopped on my way while taking commuters to Steenbokpan and I was told that I had to produce staff transport permits but I told them that I was not transporting staff members” one taxi driver said.
Staff transport permits are obtained in Modimolle and each permit costs R1 500. Some taxi owners complained that they have receipts which clearly show that they have applied for permits but the traffic officers wanted to know nothing about it.
“We tried showing them the slips which indicate that we can transport workers but they took our cars anyway”.
The Chief of Traffic at the Lephalale municipality refused to comment on the matter on Friday saying that correspondence should be forwarded to the Communications department – they too have not yet responded.
Taxi owners had to pay R5 000 to have their cars released.