Bellville taxi rank closed after commuters caught in violent crossfire
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Escalating violence between rivalling taxi associations in Bellville has seen two commuters caught in the crossfire. The violence erupted between CATA affiliated Bellville Taxi Association (BELLTA) and Bloekombos-Wallacedene Taxi Association (Bloewata) as shots were fired at Bellville taxi rank.
Two commuters were injured following the shoot-out, and were hospitalized. I wish those two injured commuters a speedy recovery.
After consultation with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Taxi Registrar, the Bellville Taxi Rank has been closed until the situation is assessed to be safe again for commuters.
The Registrar has also informed both associations of their suspension with immediate effect. Violence had also broken out between the two warring groups in July this year, compelling the Department of Transport and Public Works to appoint a mediator in an attempt to reach a peaceful resolution.
SAPS, Metro Police, and traffic authorities have already implemented operational plans to secure the Bellville interchange.
Our officials will be assisting authorities in their investigations and clamping down on violence that threaten the safety of commuters.
It is unacceptable that disputes within the minibus taxi industry continue to be violent in nature. There is no dispute that cannot be resolved peacefully and through reaching consensus. I implore taxi industry leaders to promote peace amongst their ranks and to prioritize the safety of commuters above all else.