UPDATE: Taxi drivers demonstrating

14 Jun 2016 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 14 JUN (NAMPA) - Close to 200 taxi drivers are taking part in a demonstration in the capital against high traffic fines.
Some taxi drivers engaged in the demonstration, in attempts to get other taxis to join the demonstration, are forcing passengers out of those taxis.
The taxi drivers started their demonstration on Tuesday morning along Eveline Street in Goreangab and moved towards an open space at the intersection of Claudius Kandovazu and Hans Dietrich Genscher streets in the Shandumbala and Donkerhoek residential areas.
They demand a reduction of high traffic fines and the construction of new taxi terminals in the capital.
A similar demonstration by taxi drivers and owners took place in July 2013.
Members of the Namibian Police Force's Riot Unit and City Police officers are on the ground monitoring the situation.
Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, one of the demonstrators who off-loaded passengers from other taxis, Erastus Makoya, stressed that they will continue with the demonstration until their demands are met by the Namibian authorities (Government, Ministry of Works and Transport and City of Windhoek).
“This (demonstration) is something that we have always wanted to do. I think people do not appreciate our service; we are the ones who take people to hospitals and their workplaces and yet we are treated like second-class citizens,” said an aggrieved Makoya.
Asked why they are off-loading passengers from other taxis, Makoya said: “The other taxi drivers who are not part of the demonstration cannot continue working while we are striking against the high traffic fines imposed on us”.
The current high traffic fines are not only a nightmare for taxi drivers in the capital and other parts of the country, as all drivers and passengers are negatively affected.
Meanwhile, efforts to get comment from the leadership of the Namibia Transport and Taxi Drivers Union (NTTU) proved futile as their leaders were reportedly in a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Works and Transport to find an amicable solution to the strike.