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Taxis cause chaos at Wernhil taxi rank

Going against the traffic flow: Many taxis can be seen facing the wrong direction at the Wernhil taxi rank at peak hour everyday. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)Windhoek taxi drivers have deserted the temporary taxi rank under the bridge close to the Wernhil Park Shopping Centre, which was made available for their use during the expansion of the centre and are now making use of the new and upgraded taxi rank.
Although the taxi rank has not officially been handed over to the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association for use, taxi drivers have taken it upon themselves to use this facility since two months ago, causing chaos  in the process and keeping security guards at the shopping centre on their feet.
When approached for comment on the issue, the marketing and public relations officer for Broll Namibia, Sylvia Rusch said that Broll is leasing the “air rights” from City of Windhoek for the parking decks as well as for the upper retail deck and is unfortunately not responsible for any management and has little or no control over the taxi rank before referring all enquiries to the City of Windhoek.
The taxi drivers who operate from the biggest taxi rank in the capital, are parked in a disorganised manner mostly facing the wrong direction or parked at the exist or entrance of the rank, often making it difficult for other taxis to either enter or leave the rank.
Since the taxis drivers started using the rank illegally, there has been no sign of the City Police or traffic officers controlling the situation. However some uniformed officers have lately been trying to prevent taxi drivers from getting customers from the premises of the shopping centre.
According to the manager of service and public transport at the City of Windhoek, Clarence Rupingena, the facility is opened but not officially inaugurated. It will be inaugurated when all the phases of the facility are completed.
“As per our observation we could not see any chaos nevertheless, taxi drivers are trying to secure passengers when they are exiting the mall, which may be annoying at times. Broll Namibia has supplied the facility with guards. The City is currently busy in discussion with Broll Namibia on how to address the situation at hand,” Rupingena said.

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