“MAHARAJ THIS, MAHARAJ THAT” – UBUMBANO
By Given Jama
The head of Durban Metro cops was the target of Ubumbano Driving Schools Owners Association’s (UDSOA) ire on their march through the streets of Durban earlier today.
UDSOA members accused Anad Maharaj of oppressing black driving school owners by making their lives difficult. Some even carried placards that called for his removal which read: “Maharaj Must Go”.
Members of the association complained about lack of a comfortable operating environment for their businesses.
They submitted a seven point grievance memorandum directed to the Durban Municipality mayor, Councilor James Nxumalo, and the municipal manager S’bu Sithole. It was titled “Victimisation of driving school industry by the municipality”.
Reading the memorandum, the association’s executive committee member, Mpume Mncwabe, accused the municipality of not co-operating and communicating with the owners when there are new by-laws.
“All small businesses operating in the city are taken into account. The metre taxi industry has demarcated parking, taxis have the taxi ranks and even street vendors are allocated with stands but only one industry has not received such consideration. That is our industry, yet the municipality is imposing irrational fines and impounding their cars making their operations impossible,” said Mncwabe.
Further grievances included vehicle impounds, demands for permits the municipality does not issue, and lack of parking designated for them.
They accused Maharaj of having an attitude that makes this environment difficult to operate in for black entreprenuers and said they would not tolerate it.
The association demanded that these impounds should cease. They also called for the allocation of parking spaces to them, citing that they are even ready to pay for them.
They also demanded that the fines they have be cancelled and that those who have already paid for them be refunded.
Ubumbano KwaZulu-Natal President Geoff Nkosi said that with this march, they intended to make themselves known to the municipality.
“The driving schools industry has been around for a very long time and is not going anywhere. Everyone alive will at some point have to learn to drive. If the municipality continues this unfair treatment, the whole eThekwini area will suffer,” Nkosi mentioned.
The association demanded that their grievances be considered within seven working days or further action will be taken.