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Origins of the Bellville to Worcester taxi route

It is important to write about how the history of the taxi route between Bellville and Worcester came about and who were involved at the time.

In 1986, I worked in Kuilsrivier and used to travel between Bellville and Worcester weekly.

It was towards the end of 1986 when a man by the name of Tommy Dlokova noticed my presence at Bellville Station every Friday. He asked me if I was going to Worcester and after that conversation we agreed between us that I would spread the word about the availability of earlier transport to Worcester. I would then go to the queue when people lined up to buy bus tickets, persuade them not to buy but wait for Dlokova’s taxi.

Some Sundays, Dlokova would not be available for the trip as he would not have visited his family on a particular weekend. That time the route was still through the Du Toits Kloof Pass. He had already arranged with TS Bushwana to take the trip on those Sundays. Bushwana was therefore responsible for this trip on the Worcester side.

I had to make arrangements with Bushwana on Sundays and he would sometimes take a trip with a few people.

At the time the only two modes of transport between Bellville and Worcester were the Railway buses and the trains. But passengers had a problem with delays in Bellville, as the buses from Cape Town were on most occasions packed to capacity when they arrived there.

Buses arrived in Bellville at around 18:00, but sometimes we would wait there until 21:30 and a special bus would be arranged from Cape Town for the Bellville passengers. This meant we arrived late in Worcester, which caused great inconvenience because by then Worcester taxis had already stopped operating.

These two gentlemen did a noble job. I remember vividly when they said “We must build this route.” When they started this trip, they probably did not make money, their focus was more on advancing their aspirations of opening this route between these two towns. This is evident by their charging the then railway bus fare of R6,80 per passenger.

Remember, this was over the mountain, Du Toits Kloof, sometimes with seven people to Bellville and Khayelitsha.

Another phenomenal thing was, as some people were not yet aware of the trip, Bushwana would park at a convenient spot so that those who headed for the station could see the combi to Bellville.

“Many will have realised by now that my role in those was to organise and facilitate the trip. My remuneration was free travel between Worcester and Khayelitsha where these two gentlemen dropped me at the doorsteps of where I lived during my college days.”

The route has now developed into a very convenient and lucrative one.

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