Taxi mafia continues to prevent 1 800 children from attending school
Despite an undertaking by the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) not to intimidate, threaten, or prevent learner transport from operating, minibus taxi associations continued their illegal blockade today.
As a result, 1 800 children who would ordinarily travel on our contracted transport missed school today.
Principals reported that some busses in Mfuleni were stopped and prevented from transporting learners, leaving children – some of them in primary school – stranded in the rain.
What the minibus taxi mafia is doing is a crime, and cannot be justified.
We have taken decisive action against those who are preventing our children from attending school to serve their own commercial interests:
- I have laid a criminal complaint of common assault, intimidation, and extortion, with the South African Police Service (SAPS) against the minibus taxi associations currently preventing our children from getting to school.
- We approached the Western Cape High Court to obtain an urgent interdict against Codeta, preventing them from obstructing, interfering, and stopping the transporting of learners within the Western Cape.
Codeta has backed down and agreed to an interim arrangement whereby they will suspend their illegal blockade of our Learner Transport Scheme operators, until such time as the matter can be heard before the Court.
- I have declined the request for a meeting from the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), who were hoping to act as a broker with Codeta.
Our position remains unchanged: The Western Cape Education Department will not meet with any minibus taxi association until they unconditionally end the blockade and stop terrorising our children and our parents.
- We remain in contact with the SAPS, which has committed to stepping up their operations to bring an end to the harassment of our contracted drivers.
Minibus taxi associations are acting directly against our learners’ best interests by preventing children from attending school in order to extract contracts from the state.
We will not tolerate extortion attempts that violate our children’s constitutional right to education.