Rhodesfield residents have voiced their frustration regarding the ongoing issue of e-hailing drivers parking outside their properties, leading to a tense situation that has persisted since April. Several residents, who chose to remain anonymous, shared their concerns with the Kempton Express.
The conflict initially escalated when unidentified individuals driving BMWs intimidated the e-hailing drivers and forced them to move under the Gautrain bridge. However, taxi drivers later joined the fray, further complicating the situation. Despite a temporary reprieve, the drivers returned in June, causing significant distress to the residents.
Residents emphasised their fear for their safety, describing the area as increasingly hazardous due to the ongoing confrontations. They expressed their displeasure at the reckless behaviour of the e-hailing drivers, who often speed through the neighbourhood without regard for children playing or dogs in the streets.
Living conditions have deteriorated, so residents feel compelled to exercise extreme caution whenever they leave home. Many residents feel like prisoners in their own houses and have reported a surge in criminal activity in the area, including hijackings and robberies.
The situation has become so dire that some residents have stayed in their homes for two months, fearing break-ins and the presence of numerous parked cars. They describe a lack of privacy in their front yards, causing discomfort for residents and their visiting family and friends.
Moreover, e-hailing drivers have been accused of littering the area with garbage, leaving residents to clean up the mess. Residents have attempted to address the issue by asking drivers to be more considerate, but these requests have often resulted in threats. Even involving the police has not yielded a resolution, as the drivers reportedly state their intention to return when confronted by law enforcement.
According to EMPD spokesperson Kelebogile Thepa, the EMPD is aware of the ongoing problem and is actively monitoring the situation. However, vehicle stops can only be conducted when they do not pose a danger or when stipulated by the National Road Traffic Act.
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Photo: Supplied by Kempton Express