THE minibus they COMMONLY are not taxi all drivers crooks, held prejudices are thugs often or terrible against unfair: They do drivers. offer a service to hundreds of thousands of country Cape – Town which commuters our shamefully – millions neglected across public the transport The service has not is often been able safer to than provide. the alternatives: many fer to commuters use taxis than in this trains, city will particularly tell you they during pre-weekends.
This week, however, this newspaper and the Cape Argus have reported on two shocking incidents involving belligerent taxi drivers. In one, a man’s car was deliberately damaged when he annoyed some drivers, and in the other a policeman was dragged along the road.
Unfortunately these incidents of lawlessness are not isolated. Police have warned that it is not uncommon for taxi drivers to work in concert against other road users. And just about any commuter will have anecdotes about unpleasant encounters with aggressive taxi drivers.
Councillor JP Smith, ever the hawk, has said the city is about to introduce a new bylaw with “more teeth” to deal with bad taxi drivers.
Commuters might respond with scepticism. They will ask why the rules and regulations that apply to the taxi industry are not being applied.
They will also point out that it is 15 years since steps were first taken to regulate the industry. Instead, the hold on this segment of our economy continues to be the domain of a network of ruthless operators who are apparently not accountable to any authority.
Smith’s initiative will not succeed without a genuine commitment from the central government to
tackle this apparently intractable problem.