Reports have surfaced that a national shutdown is set for Friday 10 June following the hike in fuel prices set to increase taxi fares.
A Whatsapp message forwarded many times claimed that the roads would be “havoc” and a “no go zone” for Friday as demonstrations around fuel price dissatisfaction are said to ensue.
The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the National Taxi Alliance are said to be lobbying for trade unions like Cosatu amongst others to join in for the shutdown. Other reports claim that the EFF has also backed the plans for Friday, aligning with their goals to get the general fuel levy cuts to be permanent.
This comes after rising fuel prices in South Africa shook motorists, despite the extension of the general fuel levy cut – a temporary solution.
However, recent contradictions have come from Santaco who have denied the rumours of a shutdown, as well as their involvement.
“Santaco has never lobbied any organisation for a national shutdown, and not even planning any shutdown,” it said in an official Twitter statement.
“We still however, hold the strongest view that there’s an urgent intervention needed from govt and this despite looming taxi fare increases,” it added.
If the uproar does happen, Thibault Square and the parliament of SA in the Western Cape are suspected to be used as demonstration areas, as well as many busy roads including the N1, N2 and the N3.
Social media users suspect that this could all be little more than a hashtag, but as we saw in late March with the Cape Town taxi strikes along the N2, the taxis can be far more fueled by action than talk.
Meanwhile, the Fuel Retailer’s Association is to hold a conference, wherein they will be adding the fuel hike woes to the agenda from 8 June to 9 June.