South Africa: Taxi Drivers Brandish Assault Rifles During UMhlanga Mall Blockade

Around 400 taxi drivers in Durban have today blockaded the streets of Umhlanga in protest of the actions of Oceans Mall, which denied the building of a taxi rank on its grounds. 


According to the ZA Times, “Developers of the R4.3bn development, Vivian Reddy and Rob Alexander, face legal action from Umhlanga businesses. They allege that the development had only been given the go-ahead on condition that it provide an underground bus and taxi rank.” The taxis now use Ridge Street as a makeshift rank but face fines from Police. 


Taxi violence is not new to South Africa, with drivers committing arson against other modes of public transportation such as passenger trains and city buses. Additionally, inter-taxi violence or ‘taxi wars’ between the operators of different taxi businesses are on the rise, with 150 incidents of shootings, stonings and other acts of violence and intimidation occurring between early January 2021 and early February 2022. 

In this video taken in June, taxi drivers shot and killed two Uber drivers before torching their vehicles.