The price of taking a taxi

POLOKWANE – COMMUTING in a taxi from Seshego to Polokwane in the morning and returning in the afternoon is often a struggle for many people.

According to several commuters, they have to stand in endlessly long queues in the morning to catch taxis that are just parked along the road and not even at a formal taxi rank.

Moloko Mamadi (26), a till operator at a retail store in Polokwane, said it didn’t matter whether you wake up early to catch a taxi here.

“These taxi operators tend to just rock up at a time that suits them.”

Mamadi’s sentiments were echoed by Cynthia Maifala, who also worked in the heart of the city. She said her frustration was even more severe when it was time to go home.

“People push and shove each other just to get a seat on a taxi,” she said.

“The worst was when my blouse was torn and buttons scattered all over the place. I hope to buy my own car one day. Then I will never use public transport again,” she said.

The area is the jurisdiction of the Seshego and Polokwane Taxi Association.

Asked why the taxis stood idling along Khensani Drive, a queue marshal rudely told a group of stranded travellers to be patient.

With one hand clenched into a fist and the other holding a two-way radio, he said: “that’s procedure and commuters need to understand that it’s hectic at this time of the morning. At the end of the day, everybody will be ferried to their workplaces or schools”.

A taxi operator who refused to identify himself, said: “the association is doing its best in its business to help passengers to arrive at their destinations safely and on time”.

Seshego and Polokwane Taxi Association general secretary, Tipe Sethosa, conceded that the morning trips were extremely hectic as the majority of commuters were expected to arrive at their workplaces on time.

“However, we were not aware of the seriousness of the situation as commuters complain that they have to wait for our minibuses longer than expected.

“As the executive committee, we will send a task team to go and analyse the situation and if the situation seeks remedial measures, we will act swiftly.”

  AUTHOR
Moyahabo Mabeba

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