Rage Caused From the Road

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 18th Dec 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

The story of driving, the South African taxi driver and how they both bring out the worst in other South Africans.

Can't we all just get along?

Most of us are capable and seasoned drivers but whether it is incompetence or recklessness, there’s just something about driving that brings out the absolute worst in people. I’ve been flipped off by grandmothers for driving within the regulated speed and

It was a late Monday afternoon; I’d just knocked off and had found myself on a four way intersection looking to enjoy my drive back home.

There I was along the highway when out of the blue, a collection of car horns blared out in anger. I turn to my passenger side mirror to see what’s going on when lo and behold; I see a car travelling along the pedestrian walk with not a care in the world.

What the fuck…

I was wondering to myself just who would be so reckless as to just endanger lives when I noticed a sticker on the vehicle’s bumper explaining everything.

….Taxi Association

I like to think that there’s a special place in hell for two specific groups of people.

Firstly, the corrupt politician who’s greed gets in the way of the empowerment of disadvantaged/less fortunate people. These people have every opportunity to help out wherever they can but often choose to further their own aspirations despite the fact that they are public servants. They are opportunists, skulking in the shadows where they do their misdeeds with the hope that they never come to light.

Then there are the taxi drivers.

These bastards are the most offensive, dangerous, inconsiderate, stress inducing people you will ever meet. They can turn a Zen Buddhist into a fucken sailor with all their non-indicating, corner-cutting and general road violating behavior.

According to author Alexander Parker, of the two hundred thousand (and counting) people who are employed within the taxi industry, only ten percent actually own said vehicles.

The general layout of employment within the taxi industry of South Africa is that most drivers work for an owner who sets them a daily monetary target to reach. If more money is made, that remainder would work out as the pay of the driver.

Because of such an arrangement, to the taxi driver; time is money.

Drivers are forced to carry as many loads within as little tie as possible and that leads them to utilizing unsafe road transportation methods but because so many people in the country rely on them to get to where they need to be, they are a necessary evil.

And evil they can be.

In such an industry where lots of money stands to be made, competitiveness for transportation routes is incredibly high and often deadly, as seen by the ongoing taxi wars in the country .Recently, the MEC for Transport, Community Safety & Liaison in KwaZulu-Natal; Mr. Thomas Kaunda banned taxis for six months until opposing taxi rivals could come to a resolution on routes. Many people have been killed due to these warring factions and with all the chaos abound, criminal elements have been using it to their advantage. There are countless reports of robberies and rapes which have allegedly been perpetrated by taxi drivers. Investigations have been held by both the police and taxi associations but with their own problems at hand (allegations of corruption, intimidation and fraud have long plagued the South African Police Service while taxi associations have been accused of turning a blind eye to the reported crimes committed by taxi drivers), ultimately nothing has been done to stop the rot.

Furthermore, taxis are usually the cause of a huge number of road accidents across the country. According to the South African Road Safety Association, taxis make up five percent of vehicles used in South Africa but roughly seventy thousand are involved in accidents.

Basically, nearly half of the taxi fleet in the country are involved in accidents.

To say that taxi drivers aren’t viewed in a good light would be the understatement of the year. From old to young, rich to poor, everyone actively dislikes them with a passion and in some instances, that hatred can bring out the worst in ordinary citizens.

As earlier mentioned, in an effort to avoid the slow moving traffic, the taxi driver decided to make his own expressway courtesy of the pedestrian walk and was looking to reenter the flow of traffic by cutting in. People were understandably upset but the taxi driver didn’t give a damn. He saw a Golf coming through and without so much as signaling his intentions; he forced his way into the flow of traffic and carried on as if nothing had happened.

Perhaps the taxi driver thought that it would be one of those times where people complain but ultimately did nothing. Unfortunately for him, the driver of the Golf was not going to stand for that shit.

The driver’s door of the Golf opened and as if a tremendous weight had been relieved from the car; it rose a good couple of centimeters from the ground. The reason for this was made clear as from out the car came a behemoth of a man.

You know the type of guys who usually make the cover of Muscle and Fitness? Yeah…

This guy was a good hundred and fifty kilogram of pure muscles. It was like seeing the Incredible Hulk come to life.

And like the Incredible Hulk, this guy was furious.

By the time the taxi driver saw the guy approaching in the side view mirror, it was too late. The Golf’s driver damn near ripped the door off its hinges, effortlessly flung the terrified taxi driver into the road and began spewing all sorts of colorful words. It took the efforts of his lady companion to calm the Hulk down and walk him away but for a good while, it looked as if everyone was about to witness a brutal murder.

Having just had the fear of God instilled into him, the taxi driver understandably took a couple of minutes to compose himself before gingerly getting up, walking back to his vehicle and for the rest of the time that I saw him, driving like a learner at their licensing test.

While it was admittedly cool to see one of these reckless bastards get put in their place, I couldn’t help but think that slowly but surely, we ordinary drivers are becoming as lawless as the people we curse.

As Alexander Parker astutely pointed out, like taxi drivers, people have begun to disregard the rules of the road.

“An orange light now means floor it, no one wants to wait, no one wants to join a queue, and people are less forgiving of learner drivers.”

Something about driving brings out the worst within people and until we can begin to admit and accept fault, nothing will change because no one believes that they are bad drivers.


Driving, Driving A Car, Personal Experience, Taxi Drivers, Taxi Story, Taxi Transportation, True Story

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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