Taxis aggrieved over Sam Nujoma closure near Hidas

14 Oct 2015 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 14 OCT (NAMPA) – Taxi drivers in Windhoek are aggrieved over the closure of a section of Sam Nujoma Drive for the most popular form of public transport since 28 September 2015.
Namibian Transport and Taxi Union’s (NTTU) President, Werner Januarie made this statement during a media briefing on Wednesday.
He said the decision to not allow taxis on this road was done without the consultation of NTTU and its members.
The section of road closed runs from the intersection of Sam Nujoma Drive and Nelson Mandela Avenue to the intersection of Sam Nujoma Drive and Stein Street.
“It is an unfair conclusion by the Ministry of Works and Transport and City of Windhoek (CoW), with probably only some individuals, to close the road for taxis without considering the safety of commuters and the fact that there are numerous filling (petrol) stations along that street,” Januarie said.
He went on to say that the NTTU and its members have requested a meeting with the City Police, CoW, Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday 21 October 2015, at the City Police Head Office in Windhoek.
Deputy Chief of City Police's Traffic Management Unit, Adam Eiseb in an interview with Nampa, said it has come to the City’s attention that inadequate provision has been made for a taxi rank or stop for public transport at the Hidas Shopping Centre, which leaves the general public with a challenge in finding relevant parking for shopping.
“Taxis would normally occupy the available parking spaces and deprive the general road users and those who want to make use of shopping facilities from accessing these areas,” he said.
Eiseb added that the City has considered relocating taxis to a nearby open public parking area about 50 metres away from the shopping centre at the corner of Sam Nujoma Drive and Nelson Mandela Avenue.
That intersection is one of the busiest in the city between 16h00 and 18h00, with domestic workers and gardeners of the affluent Klein Windhoek, Luwigsdorf, Luxury Hill and Avis residential areas being dropped there by employers to catch taxis home or by people who flock to that shopping centre and surrounding shops plus petrol stations.
The NTTU represents taxi drivers in Namibia, and on behalf of its members has been complaining to Government, CoW and the City Police for several years over high traffic fines and insufficient taxi ranks to cater for the capital’s ever-growing population due to urbanisation and the search for employment to live a better life.