Western Cape Government remains committed to working with taxi leaders | Western Cape Government



Western Cape Government remains committed to working with taxi leaders

11 August 2023

Joint Media Release: Western Cape Government remains committed to working with taxi leaders

Today Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, provincial Minister of Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Roberto Quintas, and leaders of the South African National Taxi Council in the Western Cape (SANTACO-WC) gave an update on the latest round of talks that secured an end to the devastating mini-bus taxi strike in the province.

Premier Winde stressed, “Residents and commuters are our first priority. Their safety is of utmost importance and ensuring this is a non-negotiable. Throughout this terrible strike, commuters suffered the most, especially the poor, who have little choice but to use mini-taxis for their daily transport. It is deeply unfortunate that this industrial action occurred and was exacerbated by deadly violence. The loss of life was absolutely unacceptable, and we will work closely with all law enforcement to bring justice to the families that have lost loved ones during this time.” At the briefing there was a collective call from all stakeholders for investigations into murders and other serious offences that have been linked to the stay-away to be given top priority.

The Premier added that with the strike having ended, it is now critical that the Western Cape Government (WCG), City of Cape Town (CoCT) and SANTACO-WC keep open lines of communication. “We must keep talking to each directly if we are to overcome our challenges. We are committed to resolving long-standing obstacles that have faced the taxi and public transport sectors. Our residents have suffered enough, and we must work flat out in the interests of the all those in the Western Cape,” he continued.

Minister Mackenzie remarked, “It is a huge relief that the strike has ended, and we have found a way forward. The impact on commuters has been devastating. I would like to thank all those who have carried us through the past week: law enforcement agencies, Golden Arrow Bus Services and the CoCT, among others.” The Minister added, “The WCG is working with urgency to improve the mobility environment. Our government will not compromise on road safety. The number of deaths on our roads is heartbreaking. Commuters have a right to safe, dignified transport. While there is hard work before us, we are committed to working together.”

Reagen Allen, Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, stated, “I welcome the end of the mini-bus taxi strike. We must, however, never forget the five people who lost their lives in violence stemming from the strike. This includes Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officer Zanikhaya Kwinana, British citizen, Dr Karhao Teoh, Mr Arthur Mlandeli, Mr Makhosandile, Joseph Mkhela and one other person whose name has not been released. There must be consequences.”

To date, 155 arrests for various offenses, which includes public violence have been affected and 398 cases have been registered, Minister Allen pointed out, adding, “Regrettably no arrests have been made in relation to the murders. I have been assured that all leads are being followed. I encourage the public to also share information they might have on any of the crimes with all law enforcement agencies, so that the perpetrators are apprehended, and convictions follow.”

Premier Winde, Mayor Hill-Lewis and the Ministers expressed their deep gratitude to all law enforcement agencies, including the South African Police Service (SAPS) and traffic officers, for their diligent work during this difficult period, and everyone who reached out and helped a fellow citizen.