I am a cartoon illustrator, living and working in Cape Town, South Africa.

I draw and illustrate cartoons for all types of media, from comic strips, corporate and commercial cartoons to children's books.
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14 Apr 2009

smoking taxi

Editorial cartoon People's Post 14 april 2009

The smoky road trip

"I AM sick and tired of their nonsense; they smoke as they please and couldn't care less whether there are passengers or not in the taxi."
These are the words of an angry Nelisiwe Grootbom about taxi drivers who smoke while transporting passengers.
Grootbom catches a taxi from Waterfall to Retreat on a daily basis. She says her frustration on this matter has gone beyond boiling point. She adds that some drivers will go as far as to light a cigarette while transporting school children.
"I am a parent and it bothers me greatly that they smoke in front of my seven-year-old; they are also placing his health at risk."
Demetre Horn from Strandfontein says he also uses a taxi, and according to him, the Retreat Taxi Association's drivers are notorious for smoking while transporting commuters.
Dr Ivan Bromfield, executive director of Health in the City of Cape Town, says it is a contravention of the Tobacco Products Control Act for a taxi driver to be smoking while transporting passengers; taxi drivers who commit this offence are dealt with by Law Enforcement officers.
Dr Bromfield adds that commuters who observe such an act can lay a charge against the taxi operator at any police station.
When laying a charge, commuters need to relate all the details of the incident, including the date, time of the offence, vehicle registration number and description.
Alternatively, commuters can hand a sworn affidavit, specifying all details of the incident, to the police or Traffic Services.
The maximum fine for contravening the Tobacco Products Control Act currently stands at R200, but Dr Bromfield anticipates harsher amendments to the legislation.
In Johannesburg, taxi associations offer far sharper penalties to their members.
Mdumiso Twala, spokesperson for the Johannesburg and Tembisa Taxi Association, says drivers who are found guilty of smoking while transporting passengers by the association�s disciplinary committee are dismissed immediately and blacklisted from driving in the association.
Twala adds that the association has its own inspectors, who drive around the city and check taxis at random. The inspectors also ask passengers about their grievances during the inspection.
With well over 200 taxis under the Retreat Taxi Association (RETA) management, one would perhaps expect to see many such inspections. But Grootbom, who uses a taxi daily, says she has yet to travel in a taxi that has been inspected en route.
Basi Nagel, Chairperson of RETA, says it is difficult for the association to catch culprits as commuters don't come forward to address their grievances.
"We have an office and a rank manager at every interchange and junction," says Nagel. "We are willing to listen and bring to book the drivers that shame the entire organisation.
"We are well aware that there are drivers who smoke on duty, but without full details of the driver and the vehicle he was driving, it is just beyond our control." (extract from article by Gopolang Peme People's Post)