Roads to Mbombela blocked by protesting taxi drivers

The protest action comes shortly after the petrol and diesel prices increased this morning.

 Photo: Supplied

Roads leading to Mbombela have been blocked with heavy-duty trucks, allegedly by taxi drivers.

Affected major roads include the busy N4 Toll Road from the Matsulu intersection, the KaNyamazane intersection, the Karino intersection, Mattaffin, and the R40 from White River and Plaston to KaBokweni.

Photo: Supplied

Motorists and commuters using public transport were left stranded as nothing moved in and out of the townships at KaNyamazane, Pienaar, KaBokweni, Msholozi and Barberton.

Foreign-owned businesses in some of these townships remained closed as they feared looting.

Major petrol stations are also non-operational, also fearing for the worst.

Top Star Taxi Association’s chairperson, John Mavundla, defended the taxi industry, saying that as an association they have not sanctioned such a protest and do not know anything about it.

Mavundla said they would, however, investigate the matter, and if their members were found to have instigated or taken part in the strike, appropriate and disciplinary actions will be instituted.

One of the truck drivers found at the Karino intersection said they were ambushed by armed men in the early hours of Wednesday and forced to surrender their trucks, which were used to block the roads.

He said after blocking the roads with their trucks, the protesters took the keys and made off.

Even though there are police presence in some parts of the Lowveld where the roads have been blocked, little can be done at this stage, since the trucks cannot be moved out of the way.

The petrol price for both 93 ULP and 95 LRP increased by R2.37 per litre.

This will see motorists paying just over R25 per litre, a record-breaking price for South Africa.

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