Nongoma taxi war nears end
Warring taxi association members sign peace agreement after years of violence and scores of deaths
STABILITY in Nongoma appears to be within reach after the signing of a peace agreement by warring members of the Nongoma Taxi Association following years of violence which has left scores dead.
The peace talks were facilitated by transport, community safety and liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda, community leaders, the office of the premier and the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), who want to see an end to the violence.
Kaunda said they were optimistic about achieving peace in KwaNongoma after the watershed agreement between two warring parties, who committed to resolving differences through dialogue.
This follows an incident on Sunday where members of the association forced a temporary closure of the taxi rank as part of the ongoing war.
Last month, five people were ambushed and killed in the KwaDabhasi area in the taxi war, leading to the latest intervention and peace talks.
“We appreciate and welcome the commitment by these two groupings and the leadership of the taxi association to participate in the process that will lay the foundation for peace and stability in the association. After a very long time, it is heartening to have these two feuding parties coming together and committing themselves to peace,” Kaunda said. The department said, for the first time after years of bloodshed, the two parties agreed to participate in peaceful negotiations and ending violence. “This, in our view will go a long way towards ending conflict and violence. As the department, we will embark on a process of taking over the security in the taxi rank to ensure that commuters are safe.”
Some of the key agreements that emerged at the meeting include the government taking over the control, management and security of the KwaNongoma taxi rank.
The parties also committed themselves to ending the collection of money at the taxi rank as this was identified as a source of conflict.
The executive of the association and the entire membership who were present at the meeting welcomed the bold interventions by Kaunda and supported the agreement signed by all parties.
Kaunda assured those attending the meeting that the police and the department of transport’s Operation Shanela unit would be deployed on a semi-permanent basis to monitor the situation in the area and eradicate lawlessness.
As the department, we will embark on a process of taking over the security in the taxi rank to ensure that commuters are safe
PEACE ACCORD: MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Mxolisi Kaunda signs a memorandum of understanding with members of Nongoma Taxi Association at KwaNongoma.