Rival taxi organisations recommit to peace
MEMBERS of rival taxi organisations recommitted themselves to a peaceful resolution to the current taxi violence at a meeting in Athlone yesterday, said Siphesihle Dube, spokesman for Robin Carlisle, MEC for Transport.
This follows the killing of four people associated with the taxi industry this week.
Dube said the current conflict was over control of the Delft-Epping-Bonteheuwel and Khayelitsha-Delft routes, adding that competition for passengers was fierce, resulting in route invasions in the Delft area.
The meeting, at the Vangate public transport service centre, was attended by executive members of the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations ( Codeta), the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), the Delft Taxi Association (DTA), and the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco).
Dube said the groups made an initial commitment last month, then certain parties reneged on the deal, but the groups yesterday recommitted themselves to peace.
“The affected parties have again committed to peace and stability in the taxi industry. We hope with the new commitment and the re-establishment of a task team that includes all the taxi organisations, we will start to see a change,” he said.
Meanwhile, police have stepped up their patrols in taxi violence hot spots, especially in Delft, Bellville and Nyanga.
The taxi warfare has reportedly claimed the lives of at least 10 people since August.
The four shot dead this week were either taxi drivers or guards in taxis, said police spokesman Colonel André Traut.
One person was shot dead in Nyanga on Monday, one in Elsies River on Tuesday, a third in Khayelitsha on Wednesday, and another in Nyanga on Thursday.
Police have arrested four suspects – two in connection with Monday’s killing in Nyanga, and another two for Tuesday’s killing in Elsie’s River, Traut said.
Andile Khanyi, deputy general secretary of Codeta, said commuters were stranded yesterday when many taxi drivers, especially from Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Delft, refused to work “because they fear for their lives”.
The affected drivers gathered at the Bellville rank, demanding protection.
“We are very sorry for the commuters who don’t have transport.
“But we also understand that taxi drivers can’t continue while their lives are being threatened,” Khanyi said.
Dube said commuters were forced to make alternative arrangements.
“This is not ideal, but passenger safety has been compromised by the recent spate of attacks,” he said. email@example.com