Taxi murders: Marking system and technology to identify illegal operators
Following an increase in taxi related murders over the last few weeks in Ceres, Bellville, Mbekweni, Nyanga and other areas, I called on the leadership of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) and 'mother-bodies', CATA and Codeta, to reign in their members and to identify those elements who are contributing to the crimes and violent conflict.
Since January 2020, there have been 25 taxi related murders and 11 cases of attempted murders. These include cases in Mbekweni, Delft, Bellville, Bloekombos, Ceres and Nyanga. All of the cases involve either CATA and or Codeta affiliated associations.
Officials from the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works are working closely with the SAPS to identify the common thread that seems to be running through all of the recent cases of murder and attempted murder.
In discussions between officials from my Department and Santaco this week, it was agreed that the Department will assist the industry leadership through providing an independent mediator to facilitate talks between CATA and Codeta affiliated groups who are at the centre of the violence.
I instructed officials from my Department to assist the SAPS and traffic authorities by introducing technology solutions including a marking system to identify legal operators so that illegally operating taxis are easily identifiable for enforcement purposes. This follows appeals by legal taxi operators for assistance from enforcement authorities with regards to infiltration by illegal operators onto their already saturated routes and ranks.
I welcome the intervention by Provincial Commissioner Matakata through making available a dedicated team of detectives to investigate all the recent and historic taxi related cases and her commitment to bringing the murderers and their enablers to book.