Mamelodi taxi operators lauded for ending violence

2015-11-11 21:09
 (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Pretoria - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has lauded taxi operators in Mamelodi for putting aside their differences and working together towards achieving the same goal.

Makhura’s praise follows a turbulent period in the township when taxi operators went on the rampage and damaged Autopax buses when they replaced Putco in the area in July.

Operators expressed dissatisfaction at the move and questioned why they were overlooked.

There was a total shut down of public transport in the area until government intervened to restore order.

During his visit on Wednesday to check on government projects, Makhura told residents of how the taxi operators had managed to turn things around.

The Mamelodi Taxi Association and Mamelodi Local and Long Distance Taxi association came together to form a company called Matrans to operate buses in the area. 

The company has been in negotiations with government to find models that can work for both parties. 

“You have something beautiful here that I don’t think you realise. When different taxi operators start working together towards the same goal, that is something to be proud of,” he said.

“We met with the taxi leadership and we commended them for working together. In other areas, taxi organisations are fighting and that affects the movements of our people but when they work together like this, we will be able to help them as well.”

Makhura said the provincial government wanted to integrate the taxi industry into the public transport system but they can’t do that when there is infighting. He said what was happening in Tshwane should be emulated everywhere else.

“Tshwane is our experiment/pilot. We want to show the rest of Gauteng that the taxi industry can end the violence. What is happening here is an example of how the taxi industry is going to work and this is a very important development,” Makhura said.

He said they have been engaged in negotiations since July and they were now reaping the rewards of those engagements. He said the taxi operators would be part of the A Re Yeng bus rapid transport system in the city. He said the move was as a result of the engagements.

“Using what the A Re Yeng bus service has done, the taxi industry in Tshwane is going to be role players in the BRT system. It is not enough to have the taxi industry operating from the side. We want to make sure that the taxi industry is integrated into the public transport system,” he said. 

Director and coordinator of Matrans, Stemmer Monareng said they were looking forward to working with government and providing a good service to locals. He said they were changing the way they did things. 

"We have already changed how we do things and moving from being an informal autonomous structure to becoming more organised and part of the Gauteng transport system," he said.

Read more on:    david makhura  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  taxi violence

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