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Wednesday, 23 September 2015 17:19

Vendors 'fed up' with taxi strike

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"You are speaking to me in the middle of the day when I am supposed to be busy but look, I am packing to go home."



These are the words of 57-year-old Doris Mnceleku who has been a street vendor in the Durban central business district (CBD) for the past 10 years.

An Umlazi resident, Mnceleku is one of thousands affected by the KwaZulu-Natal taxi strike that has left city centres far quieter than usual.

The strike comes after the eThekwini Municipality impounded over 300 taxis and buses over the weekend. The operation was part of route permit enforcement and comes at a time of simmering tensions in the Durban minibus taxi industry.

Speaking to News24 on Wednesday, Mnceleku, the head of a four-strong household, said she was fed up with the strike.

"We are in pain here. I am risking my life coming to work like this. I am risking it for a few rands and I do not even know how I am going to go home. I am just coming here and hoping for the best.

"I just want everything to go back to normal. [The city] must give the taxi people what they want so we can keep working. I cannot go on like this."

Another vendor, 54-year-old Mildred Sibiya, said there was unfairness to the effects of the strike.

"All these people want to fight and fight. I just want to work hard and give my family everything I can."

A KwaMashu resident, Sibiya said she had 10 family members in her household.

"Most people I live with do not work. This strike is putting me in debt. I want to tell the people in charge to just stop fighting now. Please, can we all just go back to work?"