Taxi Violence Continues As Six Deaths Recorded This Past Week

Taxi violence continues in the Western Cape, despite ongoing interventions by authorities as six people are reported to have been killed due to ongoing taxi violence this past week. This brings the death toll due to taxi violence this year to 80.

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Commuters' lives remain at risk as a resolution is yet to be reached regarding the ongoing taxi violence in the Western Cape. This means that as of Monday morning people who rely on taxis will have to make alternative arrangements.

The National Transport Minister Mbalula Fikile, Provincial Transport MEC and representatives from Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA), Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (CODETA) and the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) have been engaging in talks about bringing peace to the continued violence in the sector that continues to see shootings despite a peace deal brokered last week.

The meetings, which started on Friday, continued on Sunday night and are expected to resume on Monday but for commuters using taxis to get to work, this means danger remains.

During an interview with 567 Cape Talk's Refilwe Moloto, Weekend journalist Velani Ludidi says that there seems to be no end to the impasse between rival Taxi Associations stating that route permits appear to be at the heart of the dispute and that both associations also refuse to allowance routes that are not involved in the conflict to operate.

"Both Minister Fikile Mbalula and the MEC suggested that while there is still this impasse, how about the other routes which are not causing conflict be allowed to do their work, but both associations could not agree on that," he said. 

"There is also this permit issue that, there are drivers who have permits and these drivers who have permits and these drivers are from CATA, they got those while they were members of CATA so when they crossed the floor to join CODETA they left with those permits and now CATA wants those operators to be taken off, they want those permits back but there is no agreement," Ludidi adds.

Meanwhile, Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell, says that there have been mediated discussions with the taxi industry as well as the Minister of Transport in an effort to ensure that all parties find common ground and reach an agreement.

"There is an arbitration process set for the end of the month. When I took office I made a commitment to expedite the arbitration process, we have expedited the process, what we are looking for now is a commitment from the industry to, in the interim, find some common ground so that we can ensure that commuters and legal operators get safe," he said.

Additionally, in the latest incident, EWN reports that the most recent attack occurred on Friday when one man was shot and killed, and another was left wounded in Mfuleni.

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