Cape Town taxi wars are preventing vaccinations against the Covid-19 virus just as infections are rising in the Western Cape.
“We need peace because we need people to get their jabs,” said Siyabuya leader Melene Rossouw.
“The fact that talks, including with government, have failed once again to produce agreement is devastating. It’s going to affect thousands of people in Cape Town who still cannot get to vaccination sites. This is tragic, particularly for older people who are most vulnerable to the virus.
“I know of people who cannot move from their homes because all forms of transport have come to a halt as a result of the taxi violence. This is directly affecting jobs and livelihoods, as well as vaccinations which are critical to both.
Melene Rossouw, External lead, Siyabuya
Taxi drivers were heroes in the recent unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, helping to protect shops from looters. But in Cape Town they are killing each other over routes, harming the city’s economy and stopping people from getting to work, shops and vaccination sites.
“Cape Town needs a rethink. Please people – lives are at stake and the virus is spreading. Without taxi peace, Cape Town cannot fight this virus,” she said.
Siyabuya is a voluntary movement formed to link people and groups who believe South Africa can emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic. It promotes moves to keep safe, feed others and get vaccinated as soon as people are eligible.
“Siyabuya believes that, by working together, we can #MakeSAbetter. We need taxi peace if that is going to happen in Cape Town,” Melene said.
Image credit: Gsalamander, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons