Taxis running in Mamelodi again

2015-07-10 08:17
A heavy police presence outside the Koedoespoort transport pound. (News24 Correspondent)

A heavy police presence outside the Koedoespoort transport pound. (News24 Correspondent)

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Pretoria - Minibus taxis were operating in Mamelodi on Friday, despite conflicting reports from government and the taxi operators on whether impounded vehicles had been released.

The taxi operators claimed they reached an agreement to have their impounded vehicles released, while government disputed this.

One commuter, Maria Motau, said she was relieved, but still a little uncertain given the conflicting reports.

"Right now we have transport to go to work, but if those people don't get their cars they might start again. How will we come back home if that happens? The situation has to be resolved as soon as possible."

Another commuter said the transport problems in the township were becoming unacceptable and a permanent solution was needed.

 "We can't continue like this. Our lives can't come to a stop whenever taxi operators feel aggrieved," he said.

50+ taxis impounded

Taxi operators went on strike on Thursday after some of their minibuses were impounded, leaving thousands of commuters stranded in the township.

Stemer Monageng, from the Mamelodi Local and Long Distance Taxi Association, said they had met with authorities and provided proof that their vehicles were licensed and should not have been impounded.

Monageng said those who had had their minibuses impounded would collect them on Friday.

On Wednesday, police impounded more than 50 taxis and other vehicles in the area in a bid to stop violence against a new bus operator.

Taxi operators became violent last week when buses operated by Autopax were introduced to replace Putco's service. The taxi operators reportedly wanted to take over the bus routes. Five people were injured when a Putco bus was shot at. Buses were also pelted with stones.

The Gauteng community safety department said no agreement had been reached with taxi operators.

Govt: Law enforcement not negotiable

“We can confirm that there is no agreement that has been reached between the two parties, being government and the taxi association, for us to release the vehicles for them to resume operations,” spokesperson Thapelo Moiloa said.

“Neither the department of community safety nor department of roads and transport in Gauteng has entered into such agreements. We distance ourselves from these talks that we have struck a deal.”

Moiloa said the impounded minibuses would only be released once a fine had been paid. He said many of the taxis were unroadworthy and some drivers did not have licences.

“Law enforcement is not negotiable. If we come across such a vehicle, we will take it off the road,” he said.

The taxi operators and Gauteng Premier David Makhura were expected to meet for talks on Friday.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  transport

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