Agreement reached by affected primary associations in respect of the B97 minibus taxi route

20 September 2022
Department of Transport and Public Works

Media Release by Daylin Mitchell, Western Cape Minister of Mobility

I welcome the agreement signed yesterday between leaders of CATA, and CODETA aligned route associations on the sharing of the contentious Route B97, following discussions with the government. 

It has been just more than a year since I closed the B97 minibus-taxi route from Mbekweni (Paarl) to Bellville. 

During July 2021, I invoked my powers in terms of section 91 of the National Land Transport Act (Act no.5 of 2009) to close the route following several incidents of violent conflict and the loss of lives.

This decision was taken in consultation with the affected municipalities, the South African Police Services, and regulatory stakeholders given the fact that the safety of passengers had degenerated to an unacceptable level. 

The current closure period comes to an end on 25 September 2022.  In consultation with the affected municipalities, we invested a considerable amount of time, funding and resources into mediation efforts prior to closing the route. 

Taxi operations on the B97 route were also the subject of an arbitration process.  The arbitration award was released in November 2021 and we made a concerted effort to give effect to the arbitration outcome.  The arbitrator ruled that both CATA Boland Taxi Association and the Paarl Alliance Taxi Association (affiliated to the CODETA region) have legal rights to trade on route B97.

Since the award was issued, several discussions took place with the provincial executive committee of the Western Cape Branch of SANTACO, the CATA and CODETA Regional Taxi Councils and the two affected primary taxi associations. 

I want to commend the industry leadership for their commitment to this peace process.

I am pleased that this agreement has been reached by the primary associations and CATA and CODETA regions in respect of minibus-taxi operations on route B97.  Both parties have agreed, in line with the arbitration award, to co-exist and to provide bi-directional services.

In terms of the agreement, operating licences will be apportioned on an equal basis (50/50) between the two associations commensurate to the demand for services as shown in the transportation plans for the area.  Both associations have committed to stop recruiting new members in excess of passenger demand and to desist from allowing illegal operators to trade on route B97.

The Drakenstein Municipal Council resolved to support new operating licences in respect of route B97 to create a more equitable balance between demand and supply. We have agreed with the affected associations to start the application process.

The route will in the meantime remain closed until the regulatory process has been finalised. Details of the closure period will be shared in due course.

It should be noted that the replacement Golden Arrow bus service will continue to operate in parallel to the taxi service post the re-opening of the route until all bus tickets/clip-cards have expired.

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 Media queries:           

Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka
Spokesperson for Minister Daylin Mitchell
Cell: 082 953 0026