The violent taxi protest actions currently raging in Mpumalanga's Lowveld are unacceptable and must be stopped.
The protests reportedly began because taxi drivers in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality are upset about buses of a local bus company, Buscor, using the same routes as the taxis.
Taxis are currently blocking various main routes around towns in Ehlanzeni – including routes to the Kruger National Park – and property is being vandalised on a large scale.
At least one bus has been torched and most of Buscor's depots are being blocked by protesters.
The closure of national and provincial roads in the province has a severely detrimental impact on the economy, seeing as both small and large businesses struggle to operate under these circumstances.
Tourism is already finding it hard to survive as it is crippled by sporadic service delivery protests. Everyone in the province is affected by this and these protests must not be tolerated.
Government is making no real attempts to create an environment that is conducive to job creation and free trade.
The FF Plus demands that residents' right to freedom of movement and trade must be protected to ensure everyone's survival.
In addition to ensuring the public's personal safety, economic security must also be a priority.
At present, private security companies are cooperating with the local police to monitor the situation.
The FF Plus will also cooperate with the local police and the city to gather the evidence needed to lodge criminal complaints against those who commit violent and unlawful acts.
The FF Plus demands that strict action must be taken against criminal elements during protest actions as that will, hopefully, deter violent conduct during future demonstrations.