Media release by Premier Alan Winde on ongoing taxi violence in Cape Town
The ongoing taxi violence in the City of Cape Town has continued today despite every effort by both the national and provincial governments to find a lasting resolution to the dispute over contested routes.
This violence is not only costing lives, but also livelihoods, as people battle to get safely to work, as some operations come to a stand-still. While this is not happening along all routes, it is having a severe impact on many residents.
It is simply unacceptable that a dispute over routes is now undermining the well-being and safety of our residents, and we will not allow this violence to continue.
The Provincial Joint Operations Centre has been activated to specifically address this violence, so as to ensure a collective security response from the SAPS and all other law enforcement partners in the province.
I was able to join a meeting of this Prov JOC this afternoon. I used the opportunity to express my grave concern at how a few criminal elements in the industry are holding our province hostage and urged maximum focus by SAPS in ensuring all those responsible are brought to book, and for safe operations to continue.
This evening I will also hold meetings with the Mayor of the City of Cape Town and the Mayor of Drakenstein, to further ensure coordinated interventions by all levels of government. This follows a special cabinet meeting this morning, where taxi violence was top of the agenda.
The Western Cape’s Department of Transport and Public Works, as the ‘regulator’ in the Western Cape, continues to provide a space for the two associations to meet, through an independent mediation process.
This is in addition to pursuing an interdict in the Western Cape High Court against illegal operations by either association along disputed routes, as well as the gazetting of an intention to close certain routes, in terms of national legislation. In terms of this law, this is not an immediate step, and there must be a process of public comment, and due consideration applied by the Provincial Minister before any decision taken. Minister Mitchell is accordingly applying his mind fully to all considerations.
Tomorrow, I will also join the Provincial Police Commissioner, and the Provincial Ministers of Transport and Public Works, and Community Safety, in briefing the public and the media on the situation and what the Western Cape Government, and our national counterparts, are doing to address this issue.
I want to be very clear that all those responsible for this violence must be arrested and prosecuted so that a very clear message is sent that we will not tolerate this criminal activity in the Western Cape.