Reward for Information on Taxi Killings
Police inability to solve taxi murders in the Western Cape was sharply criticised at an event on 25 July 2013 where the Taxi Industry and Western Cape Government pledged to Say No to Taxi Violence.
Representatives from approximately 139 taxi associations across the province attended the event at the Vangate Public Transport Service Centre, Athlone.
Hundreds of owners, drivers and other players in the taxi industry crammed into the venue, where they were addressed by:
- Mr Philip Taaibosch, South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) Secretary General
- Vernon Billet, President of the Western Cape Provincial Taxi Council
- Robin Carlisle, Minister of Transport and Public Works
- Brett Herron, City of Cape Town’s Executive Committee Member for Transport
- Mark Skriker, Taxi Registrar
- Yasir Ahmed, Assistant Executive Manager: Transport Regulation
Referring to recent killings in the Overberg, Minister Carlisle said his Department would not rest until every single illegal vehicle in Grabouw, where the killings took place, was put out of action.
He pledged a R100 000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of those involved in taxi killings. At least 35 murders and attempted murders in the Western Cape remained unsolved.
Mr Billet criticised the police for their indifference when investigating a taxi killing. He said it appeared as if the killing of a person involved in the taxi industry was of lesser importance to the police than the killing of other people in society.
Mr Taaibosch said government should consider giving the taxi industry certain regulating powers, such as suspensions, in a procedural way. He said Santaco needed this type of government support to act even against leaders who violated the industry’s codes of conduct. He said the best way to get rid of those who instigate and intimidate was to get them out.
Mr Herron said the City joined the provincial government and the industry in condemning the killings.
As leaders of the taxi industry in the Western Cape Province, we commit ourselves to the following important principles:
- To recognise Santaco as the only representative structure of the taxi industry
- To develop a reciprocal working relationship with the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, the City of Cape Town and other municipalities in the Western Cape in order to effectively regulate and manage the taxi industry
- To condemn any form of violence in the taxi industry
- To condemn route invasions and the extortion of money from operators
- To manager our business responsibility and not to recruit new members
- To resolve differences in the taxi industry by means of deliberation
- To co-exist with all associations and to respect the operating rights of all legal operators
- To create a safe and dignified environment for public transport users
- To provide services with due consideration for the safety of the commuting public and all other road users
- To strictly adhere to operating licence conditions; and
- Abide by the Code of Conduct for taxi operators
Signed on 25 July 2013 at Vangate Public Transport Service Cente, Athlone