A degree of normalcy has been restored in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, after disruptive protests over the past two days that brought the city to a standstill – but taxi drivers warned it was not the end of their protests.
< p >Police spokesman Brig Selvy Mohlala told TimesLIVE that everything is running as normal but police are on site to monitor the situation.
“The CBD and all major roads going in and out of Mbombela lead are accessible. It looks calm at the moment, but we’re staying on site and monitoring the situation for possible disturbances,” said Mohlala.
The situation in Kruger National Park is also said to be calm.
< p>SANParks Spokesman Ike Phaahla said Friday that things were running normally and they had not received any reports of disruptions or blockages. He said the park is accessible and they are closely monitoring the situation.
On Wednesday, protesters blocked roads near the park.
The chairman of a regional taxi drivers’ association, Themba Masuku, said told TimesLIVE that they were staging protests over rising fuel costs, which he said were no longer affordable.
This week fuel prices went up:
- R2.37/ l for 93 octane petrol;
- R2.57/l for 95 octane petrol;
- R2.31/l for diesel with 0.05% sulfur; and
- R2.30/l for diesel with 0.005% sulfur.
“We work for fuel. We are no longer able to meet the targets set by the owners for how much we should bring in each day,” Masuku said.
He said they suspended their protests on Friday because they wanted to help the grieving families wanted to be able to bury their loved ones over the weekend.
“We don’t have a tangible response from the government so we’ll wait and see. If we don’t have an answer by Monday, we’ll close the roads again on Tuesday.”
Muntu Gama from the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) in Mpumalanga distanced the association from closing Mbombela.
< p>“We had nothing to do with Wednesday’s closure because Santaco is engaging with stakeholders nationally on the issue of rising fuel costs. The shutdown was organized by taxi drivers. They surprised us too,” said Gama.
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