Yesterday, hundreds of what seemed like thousands of minibus taxis brought the city of Durban to a halt for pretty much the entire day, costing it billions in economic activity as thousands of commuters were left stranded. They blocked a number of main routes, including the busy N2 south freeway. The blockade was run by members of the South African National Taxi Council, which strangely enough, denies ever sanctioning it in the first place. The guys were protesting against Toyota South Africa and its business practices as it affects them.


Mainly, according to SANTACO, the gripe is that the Quantum minibus taxi has become too expensive to purchase, leaving a number of operators out of the taxi economy. The Quantum used to cost around R200 000 when it first went into market. It was also imported at the time. Now it is produced at Toyota’s Prospecton plant and costs roughly R450 000.


The protesting taxi drivers and owners were intimidating fellow motorists and drivers along the N2 freeway near Prospecton, just south of the Durban CBD. Some were throwing sticks and stones at passing vehicles, others were physically banging on stationary vehicles, as well as hurling insults and swearing at their drivers. Now Johan van Zyl, former Toyota SA CEO, now Toyota Europe CEO and Senior Managing Officer of the global Toyota business, is on his way from Japan to South Africa to talk to SANTACO about the situation.

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