WE don't hate you, taxis ... your
It's not so hard to guess whose side Daily Sun and Sunday Sun will take in any
Not often the side of the bosses...
Seldom the side of politicians...
Sometimes the side of big business...
Not the side of the taxi industry for sure...
But EVERY time we'll be on the side of the Guy in the Blue Overall...
That's not only because he and his missus are our readers...
It's because he's the one at the bottom of the political food chain...
Big government bites provincial government...provincial government bites city
government, and city government bites the poor fellow who must just pay his
taxes, pay his rates...and suck it up...
And whatever SA's New Age politicians say...that's EXACTLY how it is.
So as a matter of deliberate policy we at the Suns always insert ourselves
between authority...and the poor Guy in the Blue Overall.
The popularity of the People's Papers shows that the strategy works.
We were at it again this week.
But this time there was a twist.
The battle lines had been drawn in Jo'burg between the taxi industry - which is
often completely nuts - and the so-called Bus Rapid Transport System (BRT).
Taxi operators went to war to try and block the further expansion of this BRT.
What the new system means is that buses pick up people in Soweto from fairly
close to their homes, ferry them to central points in the township...from where
they set off to work and town in bigger articulated buses along special routes
that are STILL being built with such aching slowness.
Still, it's a HUGE improvement.
BRT buses leave on a schedule...not just when the bus is full like taxis do.
They're less crowded, they're more affordable, they're not driven by angry
hysterics and, mostly, the buses are in better condition than taxis ever were.
This week, while raging taximen were kept at bay by the cops, people rode to
work in peace.
And the ones we spoke to LOVED it.
So, behold our front page
(click here >>)...The line we took was something like: Victory for the
people over the forces of darkness...
Taximen didn't like it.
One asked the editor, Themba TK Khumalo, on a radio phone-in show why he, TK,
"hated" the taxi industry.
"We don't," our editor replied suavely. "It's your PASSENGERS who hate you..."
Well said, TK.
And meanwhile we've picked up unlikely allies. In this one we're on the same
side as the City of Jo'burg, the ANC and even a member of Cabinet.
That's a turn-up for the books.
How long it will last, though, is another matter.
Deon du Plessis
about 4 hours ago from SunPublisher, Deon du Plessis