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pedestrians fight back

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  • Andie Miller
    http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=31444,1,22 (see pic) Rubber bullets fired at protesting community Zandspruit residents blockaded Beyers Naude
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2007
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      http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=31444,1,22
      (see pic)

      Rubber bullets fired at protesting community

      Zandspruit residents blockaded Beyers Naude street today, in protest of
      accidents that occur in their area, after a man was knocked over by two
      cars. Picture by PETROS RAPULE

      JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg police fired rubber bullets at angry community
      members during a protest sparked by a pedestrian accident on Wednesday.
      Captain Siphiwe Ndlovu said a crowd of people from the Zandspruit informal
      settlement in Honeydew attacked a taxi driver after he ran over a
      30-year-old man along Beyers Naude on Wednesday morning.

      When police tried to intervene, the mob turned on them, throwing stones,
      Ndlovu said.

      Police then fired rubber bullets at the crowd injuring a 46-year-old woman
      who was taken to hospital.

      No arrests had been made, said Ndlovu.

      The SABC reported the residents were demanding that the City of Johannesburg
      provide measures to protect the local community from being hit by cars.

      Pedestrians are hit on a daily basis and residents have vowed to continue
      blocking the road until their demands are met, the broadcaster said.

      But Ndlovu said the situation had been brought under control and the road
      had been reopened to traffic by 1pm on Wednesday.

      "The Honeydew police station commissioner was addressing the crowd about
      their concerns," he said.

      Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said Beyers Naude had been closed from
      Peter to Johan Roads during the protest following the accident.

      "The situation is under control now... the driver of the vehicle which hit
      the pedestrian is also safe," he said.

      Emergency services spokesman Malcolm Midgley said the pedestrian had been
      taken to the Johannesburg hospital, but died shortly afterwards. - Sapa.
    • dawie_coetzee
      There is a particularly South African factor here, which it might be worthwhile to explain to those who are not familiar with the country. We have a long
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2007
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        There is a particularly South African factor here, which it might be
        worthwhile to explain to those who are not familiar with the country.

        We have a long tradition of attaching different meanings to those
        used by the rest of the world to words. For instance, in the days of
        apartheid, 'location' meant 'black group area suburb' rather than
        simply where something was. Similarly, 'taxi' in South Africa
        means 'small privately-operated omnibus' rather than 'taximeter cab'.
        These are car-sized minibuses operating on set routes, picking up and
        dropping off passengers along the way, much like public buses.

        The major difference is that they do not constitute a politically
        accountable component of an integrated system of public transport.
        The industry originated in the 'bad old days' when a minibus-taxi
        venture was one of very few business fields open to black people. The
        result was far more minibus taxis than the available passenger pool
        warranted, consequent fierce competition over routes, and the
        emergence of a sort of taxi mafia which regularly resorts to violence
        to settle disputes over route allocations, etc. Because of this
        ferocity of competition and culture, minibus taxi drivers are
        generally considered the most dangerous drivers on South African
        roads. Minibus taxis moreover represent a sizeable proportion of all
        road traffic.

        The current problem is that minibus taxis are generally considered to
        be a mode of public transport. Urban designers think they are being
        all urban by accommodating taxis, like a sort of third-world Metro in
        archipelago form. Local public transport initiatives consequently
        tend at least to include new and improved taxi ranks. There are as
        yet very few who question this received wisdom. The idea of a system
        of public transport in which the minibus taxi does not feature at all
        is not considered.

        The government is trying to implement a Taxi Recapitalization
        Programme against severe opposition from the minibus taxi industry.
        This will achieve little more than replacing simple, user-fixable
        vehicles used inappropriately with overcomplicated, disposable
        vehicles used inappropriately. It will not solve the real problem,
        which is that minibus taxis have the same spatial and practical
        requirements as any other motor vehicle. A city suited to the minibus
        taxi is a car-shaped city.

        The beginnings of a shift are there: a recent column by well-known
        local journalist John Matshikiza did in fact question the publicness
        of the minibus taxi as a mode of transport.

        -Dawie

        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Andie Miller" <andiem@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=31444,1,22
        > (see pic)
        >
        > Rubber bullets fired at protesting community
        >
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