Traffic ground to a halt and caused chaos on the R24 highway leading to OR Tambo International Airport on Friday morning as metered taxi drivers blocked the highway in protest.
Angry commuters missed early morning flights and accused the taxi drivers of “bullying tactics” in their protest‚ which appeared to be directed at rival service Uber.
Some airline passengers‚ in a last ditch effort to catch flights‚ resorted to walking along the highway‚ hauling their suitcases.
Department of Basic Education spokesperson Troy Martens was one of those stuck in the gridlock. “I’m in standstill traffic on the R24 towards the airport … for about 45 minutes now. I’m about to miss my flight. Boarding time is at 6:30 and it’s 6:28 now.
“I can tell you one thing for sure‚ I will not ever support a metered taxi again. And it has only made me more resolute to use Uber taxis. It’s completely unacceptable bullying tactics by the meter taxis‚” she added.
Aki Anastasiou tweeted: “Avoid the R24 in both directions heading twds & from ORT. Metered taxi drivers protesting & blocking highway @ Barbara Rd. Use N12/Gautrain.”
Avoid the R24 in both directions heading twds & from ORT. Metered taxi drivers protesting & blocking highway @ Barbara Rd. Use N12/Gautrain. pic.twitter.com/AofbtujBdv
— Aki Anastasiou (@AkiAnastasiou) March 10, 2017
Patricia Ferreira tweeted video footage of commuters hauling their luggage along the freeway to get to the airport. “R24 completely blocked! People walking to airport – bags & all!”
— Patricia Ferreira (@Mayathebee100) March 10, 2017