Statement issued by Bongani Msomi – UDM Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) condemns the violent attacks on buses, bus drivers and commuters by striking taxi drivers/owners in the Western Cape. Already, there are innocent people that have been injured after buses were pelted with stones and some buses were even torched. This disaster is hot on the heels of the Uber and metered taxi violence in Sandton last week.

It cannot be that, each time the taxi industry goes on strike, property is damaged and commuters are placed in danger.

The UDM calls on the leadership of taxi associations, as well as taxi owners and drivers to not resort to violence to register grievances, as this anarchy affects innocent people who depend on the use of taxis to get to work and school. Many workers were forced to stay at home today, which means that they are losing income, which will in turn negatively impact on the lives of their families.

It is of course our Constitutional right to strike, but violence resulting in injury and/or damage to property is simply unacceptable. Carnage and lawlessness have become the unfortunate hallmarks of mass action in South Africa these past few years. We must make efforts to express dissatisfaction in a peaceable way.

Taxi bosses and all the stakeholders involved must urgently find ways to communicate constructively to find solutions to their problems.