Minister Madikizela unveils resolutions to end taxi violence
Today I am joined by the leadership of the SA National Taxi Council (SANTACO), the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) as I unveil resolutions adopted following my interventions to stem the growing tide of violence between associations affiliated to the two motherbodies – with specific focus on violence associated with the fight for control over the route between Mbekweni, near Paarl and the Bellville Transport Interchange.
There have been more than 60 senseless killings of taxi operators, drivers and passengers this year alone. My department is working tirelessly with representatives of the SAPS from the Winelands and Tygerberg Clusters, the City of Cape Town and Drakenstein and SAPS is making good progress with investigations into these cases and others with 106 arrests over the last 3 years and 54 cases currently on the Court rolls.
I recently kicked-off an outreach programme to the minibus taxi industry and municipal planning authorities during August; to hear directly from the taxi industry and municipalities what the challenges are that they face with public transport planning, regulation and enforcement.
Improved public transport services is one of the four strategic goals that I have set for my department over the five-year strategic planning period, 2020 to 2025.
I call on taxi industry leadership to refrain from violent and criminal acts to settle disputes.
The successful Red Dot service which was implemented as a partnership between the Western Cape Government and the taxi industry to transport essential services workers during the Covid-19 lockdown showed what is possible when the minibus taxi industry is united and committed to providing a quality public transport service in terms of a mutually agreed contract with incentives for delivery against agreed standards.
My department is in the process of exploring a similar system to incentivise acceptable behavior and service delivery by the minibus taxi industry as part of a holistic and inclusive plan to transform and improve public transport in the province.
I am unhappy with the conflict between CATA Boland and the Codeta-aligned Paarl Alliance Taxi Association over Route B97 between Mbekweni and Bellville over recent reports of taxis being hijacked and torched.
I will not shy away from invoking powers assigned to me in the National Land Transport Act to close ranks or routes if the violence and killing does not stop. I therefore appeal to all parties to abide by the agreed resolutions as stated below:
Resolutions adopted between the Minister Of Transport And Public Works and CATA and CODETA leadership
- The leadership of CATA, Codeta and their affiliates will abide by the law and will forthwith:
- stop all hostilities against members and employees of each other’s associations
- allow all holders of valid operating licences to operate in accordance with their rights
- neither allow, nor encourage illegal operations on any routes or at any ranks
- The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) will prepare a notice of intention and final regulations to close affected ranks and routes and to suspend affected operating licences in the event of further violence. No minibus-taxi services will be allowed on closed routes and vehicles of offending operators will be impounded and the holder of the operating licence will be criminally prosecute.
- The Department of Transport and Public Works will establish an Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate and hear and review the matter regarding the registration of Route B97 and historical operating licence processes affecting that and other affected routes.
- The DTPW, in partnership with the municipalities involved, will impose a moratorium on all new applications and applications for additional authority / transfers on route B97 whilst the inquiry is underway
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CATA Boland Taxi Association and Paarl Alliance Taxi Association will be signed by both parties and implemented while the inquiry is underway.
- A Steering Committee, comprising five representatives from each of the two primary associations, one representative from the municipality and one each from the Office of the Registrar and the PRE will be established to oversee the implementation of the MOU and these resolutions.
- The steering committee will brief law enforcement agencies / SAPS on the process to be followed and operating rights on route B97.
- The Steering Committee will draw up a separate Memorandum of Understanding / Agreement in respect of the 22 other routes shared by CATA Boland and Paarl Alliance Taxi Association.
- I, together with the DTPW will engage affected municipalities on the management of public transport ranks / interchanges and the implementation of proper access control.
- SANTACO: WC, assisted by the DTPW will arrange a conference to address taxi conflict hotspot areas and adopt joint resolutions. A facilitator / mediator will be appointed by the DTPW to assist in the process. At the end of the conference a pledge is to be signed by all parties.
The full set of ten draft resolutions has been circulated to the industry leaders for their review and discussion with their respective members.
Route B97: Mbekweni – Bellville
From Taxi Rank in Mbekweni, left into Mphakalasi Street, left into Ntshamba Street, left into Drommedaris Road, left into Oosbosch Street, right into Jan Van Riebeeck Road, into Huguenot Station, into Ambagsvlei Road, right into Jan Van Riebeeck Road, right into Lady Grey Street, left into Bergriver Boulevard, left into Main Road, right into N1, along N1, left into Durban Road Bellville off-ramp, along Durban Road, left into Church Street to Taxi Facility at Bellville Railway Station Bellville and return along the same route.