Dispute with taxi bosses resolved - eThekweni mayor

2015-05-27 17:55
James Nxumalo (The Witness)

James Nxumalo (The Witness)

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Durban - eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the dispute between the city and taxi bosses had been resolved.

The municipality has backed down in the face of threats from the minibus taxi industry and agreed to release 44 taxis that were impounded by eThekwini metro police for failing to have valid permits.

He said the city's leadership met with representatives from SA National Taxi Council, the KwaZulu-Natal Taxi Alliance, police, metro police and senior municipal officials.

"I can confirm that the matter between the leadership of eThekwini municipality and the taxi industry has now been resolved. We have decided to withdraw the charges and those cars still at the pound will be released, provided that all the owners of the vehicles sign affidavits with the metro police.

"Those matters will then be taken to court for processing. We have also agreed that those people who don't have permits must compile the relevant information and then meet with the officials from the Department of Transport and officials from the eThekwini municipality.

"We don't want those people to be found wanting in the future."

A statement released by the city’s spokesperson, Tozi Mthethwa, quoted municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole as saying: “We explained to the state prosecutor that if the matter is not speedily resolved, it could cause huge damage to the city and the province as well as negatively affect commuters.

"We don’t want to ever find ourselves in this situation, but what needs to be clearly understood is that metro police have the power to enforce the law and law enforcement operations will continue.”

News of the impounded vehicles' release comes a day after taxi owners and drivers went on the rampage through the Durban central business district, damaging municipal and private property. The march, for which no permission was granted, resulted in the arrest of 17 people.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said earlier that the 17 were expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Mthethwa said the deal did not cover the case against the 17 men who were arrested during Tuesday's protest action.

According to the statement, about 44 taxis would be released. However, during Tuesday's protests, taxi bosses claimed that around 300 of their vehicles had been impounded.

Read more on:    james nxumalo  |  durban  |  protest  |  transport

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