Minibus taxi owners in central Johannesburg are grappling with the aftermath of the gas explosion that rocked Bree and Rissik streets, causing damage to at least 23 vehicles, most of which were taxis. The explosion, whose cause remains unknown but is believed to be related to gas leakage, has left taxi owners facing both repair costs and a significant loss of income.
Lucky Xaba, spokesperson for the Johannesburg Southern Suburbs Taxi Association, expressed the frustrations of taxi owners, highlighting the financial burden they now face. Many of the damaged taxis are currently sitting idle, unable to generate any income for their owners. Xaba noted that some owners have had to bear the cost of repairs out of their own pockets, as they cannot afford to wait for government assistance, which may take a considerable amount of time to materialize.
While the Gauteng provincial government has acknowledged the issue of compensation for those whose assets were damaged in the explosion, a definitive decision is yet to be reached. Premier Panyaza Lesufi assured that the matter is under discussion, but as of now, it remains too early to determine the extent and scope of compensation for the affected taxi owners.