Govt Making Moves To Ensure Safety From Taxi Violence

The Western Cape Government held a digital press conference on Tuesday to address the taxi violence in the province. This forms part its efforts to ensure the safety of commuters in the greater Cape Town region following disruptions in the taxi industry.

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Western Cape Government officials held a digital press conference on Tuesday as part of their efforts to ensure the safety of commuters amid the ongoing taxi strike.

During the briefing, it was announced that the arbitration proceedings between the taxi associations involved have restarted at 10:00am on Tuesday as part of the legal process to resolve the dispute over routes.

Additionally, it was also announced that the notice for formal proceedings has been sent to the relevant associations following the initiation of a process to sanction or suspend them. This process was initiated on 7 July 2021 and the hearings are expected to begin on 4 August 2021.

Furthermore, the Western Cape Government’s approach to the High Court for a declarator on the SANTACO Constitution regarding regions and motherbodies is set to be made by the end of this month.

Western Cape MEC for Transport, Daylin Mitchell, said that the B97 minibus taxi route between Mbekweni and Bellville will remain closed for two months in terms of Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act.

This action became necessary after concerted efforts to stop violence between operators on the B97 route affiliated to CATA and CODETA failed.

Mitchell also added that his department is working in collaboration with other departments and SAPS on an inter-governmental, cooperative approach to deal with the cycle of violence that has claimed the lives of 83 people since the beginning of this calendar year.

Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, commended all safety stakeholders for their efforts during this time and noted that the Court Watching Brief unit is currently monitoring cases related to the arrests of those suspected of taxi-related violence and whose cases are on the court roll.

The Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile, also confirmed that that on Tuesday morning, 27 July 2021 between 6:00 and 8:30, five taxis were impounded by the integrated forces on the closed B97 route for either operating without permit or contravention of permit stipulations

The five fines ranging from R2500 to R7000 were imposed on the drivers. The total amount for the fines issued is R30 500.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, said that they remain fully committed to finding a lasting solution to the impasse, using every power available to us. He added that his government will continue to work with it counterparts across all levels of government to ensure that violence is prevented. 

In response, however, CATA says that there is currently still been no agreement between both associations on a number of proposals tabled by both associations.

CATA's general secretary, Mandla Hermanus, says that Codeta insists the disputed route must be operated from Paarl in town to Bellville rather than from the Paarl township of Mbekweni to Bellville as CATA would prefer.

The challenge for us is that when you operate the route from Paarl rather than from the township, then you are adding at least R20 to what the customer would normally pay to travel between these two places.

He also added that there will be no interference with alternative arrangements people are now forced to make because of the unavailability of taxis.

 

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