Residents of Table View north of Cape Town are furious with the city for allowing a taxi rank to operate on Blaauwberg Road outside the Bayside Mall.
Residents say the area is used as a drop-and-go zone for taxis and buses, blocking traffic and causing a hazard, especially during peak hours.
The illegal taxi rank had also resulted in the development of an informal trading market to cater for commuters.
Table View Rate Payers Association Chairwoman Dr Joy McCarthy said for two years residents had been “vociferous” in their objections and complaints to the city about the existence of the taxi rank as well as the informal hawkers market which had sprung up around it.
McCarthy said taxi drivers and hawkers urinated in the gutters and taxi washing businesses operated on the sidewalk.
She said Blaauwberg Road was the main entry and exit point for the suburb and having what amounted to a taxi rank there was “totally objectionable”.
“If this scenario had greeted me when I was looking to purchase property in this area , I would have high-tailed it to the northern suburbs like Durbanville, where they somehow manage to enforce law and order and yet respect the wishes and needs of all residents and ratepayers.”
She said the city had continually failed on its promises to move the taxis.
“We were assured once the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system was being rolled out that they would go. Well, the first date for their relocation was January, then April, then July, then August, then September and finally October 2009. Still the taxis are at Bayside…The problem is escalating, not diminishing.”
In the meantime, she said, the official taxi parking area in Potsdam Road, and reserved bays for taxis in the Bayside Mall parking lot, remained empty.
Ward councillor Elizabeth Berry admitted the city “had a challenge” when it came to resolving the issue of taxis on Blaauwberg Road.
“Taxi operators are threatening us. We have seen service delivery protests. The Mayor is in negotiations with them (taxi operators),” she said.
Du Noon Taxi Association (DTA) spokesperson Terrence Mhlangatshoba said they would not refuse to be moved to the space made available for them on Potsdam Road as the commuters who used the taxis worked at the Bayside and Table View Malls.
“We won’t fold our arms and watch them moving us,” said Mhlangatshoba.
City’s spokesperson Kylie Hatton said there was no plan to relocate the taxi operations, but when it was ready to do so, it would conduct a joint operation with the SAPS and the Metro police.