Port Elizabeth – The Eastern Cape government on Tuesday condemned taxi industry violence that erupted over the weekend, leaving two dead. Transport, Safety and Liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana condemned the violence, following reports of the killing of a taxi driver and his companion on Saturday on the R61 between Port St Johns and Lusikisiki. The two were shot dead and the vehicle set alight. "Law enforcement officers are working hard to ensure that there is peace in the area and the industry at large. We would like to assure citizens and commuters alike that we will not allow the situation to degenerate to what it was at the beginning of the year," said Tikana.She said the incident was a result of alleged internal disputes within the Border Alliance Taxi Association (Bata). Tikana said the association was working closely with the department and the police "in dealing with the matter".Stern warningShe said, so far, two members of Bata had been fingered as instigators of the latest violence. She said their names had been forwarded to the department. "In line with the provisions of [a memorandum of understanding] we signed in June, we have written letters to the two operators notifying them of the department's intention to withdraw their licences," said Tikana. A peace agreement was signed between Uncedo Service Taxi Association and Bata after violent clashes that resulted in a number of deaths and injuries. Many of the victims were bystanders. The conflict and subsequent violence resulted in the closing of certain ranks and routes to taxi operations in the affected areas.A number of interventions led by government, and police-facilitated negotiations between the warring factions, had halted the violence. Both parties had agreed to stop perpetuating, inciting or encouraging violence against each other, or against any member of Uncedo or Bata. Tikana issued a stern warning to all taxi operators, saying her department would use all its resources to "ensure the safety and security of the people of the province, including closing down operating routes and public transport facilities (taxi ranks)".