Hearing into Go George violence resumes
A Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) hearing to consider the possible suspension or cancellation of operating licences held by 32 members of the Uncedo George Taxi Association resumed on Tuesday 3 May 2016 in Oudtshoorn.
The hearing was convened in terms of section 79(2)(b) of the National Land Transport Act, 2009, after members of the association or their employees were implicated in violent protest action in George on 19 August 2015. Operating licences can be suspended or revoked if holders fail to adhere to their licence conditions.
Go George is the first scheduled integrated public transport system outside a major South African city. It was established through a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and George Municipality, with financial support from the National Department of Transport. During the protest in question, roads were barricaded, Go George buses set alight, and CCTV cameras and police vehicles damaged.
Taxi drivers believed to be employed by members of the association are alleged to have burnt four Go George buses and damaged two other buses. Separate criminal charges are also being pursued against 11 drivers who were arrested on the day and charged with intimidation and public violence.
Estimated damage to the buses amounts to approximately R10 million. There is no current estimate for damage caused during the protest to other state vehicles, homes in Thembalethu, or private properties in the George central business district.
Counsel for the Minister of Transport and Public Works and for Uncedo are scheduled to present evidence and call witnesses until 13 May 2016. Counsel for the parties will be able to submit written evidence to the PRE within seven days of the conclusion of the hearing. The PRE will announce its decision within 10 days of written submissions having been received.