The NY Times has a fun story today about how tough it is to get a driver’s license here. I think it exaggerates just how bad South African drivers are. People here like to boast about the legendary recklessness of the nation’s drivers, especially the minicabs, but aside from the occasional short stop and constant honking I’m not convinced. And minicab drivers have a financial incentive to drive fast and pick up as many people as possible.
A much bigger problem is highlighted on page four of today’s Sowetan (Motto: The Soul Truth). The headline is ‘We will win taxi war.’ It says two people died Sunday after rival taxi companies got down to gunplay over who would operate out of the Clearwater Mall in Roodepoort. Taxi drivers’ willingness to get violent is commonly cited as a reason why this city has nothing approaching adequate public transportation.
Oooooh now that I’ve picked up the tab I can’t put it down. Select passages from today’s paper:
–Department of Home Affairs officials at Orlando in Soweto were still on edge yesterday after they escaped being set alight by an enraged Malawian man whose permanent residence permit was not processed.
–‘Hubby beating’ mayor must resign
–‘Mother and sons kill daughter, 14- police
–Pregnant wife fakes abduction’
–Two ATMs blown up