Western Cape Govt To Beef Up Security Amid Taxi Violence

The Western Cape government has committed to ensuring the safety of it commuters in the midst of ongoing taxi violence. This comes after Premier, Alan Winde, and the MEC for Transport and Public Works, Daylin Mitchell, recently engaged the management of Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) in a meeting to ensure more public transport capacity is brought into the system.

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Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, and the MEC for Transport and Public Works, Daylin Mitchell, have met with the management of Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) to ensure more public transport capacity is brought into the system.

According to the Premier, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) CEO, Francois Meyer, advised him that the bus service is continuing to bring more of it's fleet online. This follows the disruption of major public transport routes in Cape Town due to taxi violence that has been ongoing for months. 

“This evening, 60% of their fleet or approximately 600 buses will be brought online, which is an increase from 40% of their fleet yesterday,” Winde said on Wednesday.

Prior to this, the bus service was reported to be operating at 40% route capacity due to fears expressed by the company's drivers after one of them was shot in the mouth on Monday. Winde has since committed to prioritizing commuter safety on the routes that have resumed service.

I made it clear that ensuring the safety of public transport operations is my top priority, and that SAPS has significantly increased their presence to ensure that violence is prevented.

Some of the key interventions, according to the Premier, include a co-ordinated operation led by the South African Police Service (SAPS), with the support of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Metro Police, local law enforcement and traffic officers. This follows Winde’s request for additional SANDF boots on the ground to be deployed.

The CEO of GABS, Francois Meyer said the recent spate of taxi violence across the metro has had a devastating impact on the company’s ability to offer its scheduled services to its 250 000 daily passengers. 

Meyer also expressed his gratitude to Winde, Mitchell, the Provincial Department of Transport, SAPS and the security directorate for their support during this very difficult time.

Furthermore, according to the provincial government, the MEC has continued with engagements with the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA), Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (CODETA) and South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) as part renewed efforts to find a lasting resolution to the ongoing conflict.

“The Department of Transport and Public Works has suspended it's financial support agreement with SANTACO until such a stage when the violence ends,” the province said, adding that it has suspended Blue Dot incentive payments to CATA and CODETA as a direct result of the conflict.

 

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