Gauteng MEC for transport to close several Soweto taxi ranks and routes over violence

2019-03-05 21:47
(File, Supplied)

(File, Supplied)

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Gauteng MEC for roads and transport Ismail Vadi has announced his intention to close Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (Nanduwe) and Witwatersrand Taxi Association (WATA) taxi ranks and routes in Soweto following a spate of violence between the two associations.

"The factors that warrant such urgent action are violence, unrest or instability in the public transport sector in an area, which threaten the safety of passengers, residents or other persons," the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Vadi intends on publishing a notice in the provincial gazette on Wednesday. This comes after incidents of violence among the two associations dating back to the beginning of the year including:

  • The murder of SB Hadebe (a WATA member) in January;
  • The murder of WATA treasurer SM Zwane on January 21;
  • The murder of WATA vice-chairperson MT Ngubane on January 29;
  • Attacks on several minibus taxis between February 23-25 in Diepkloof;
  • Disruption of minibus taxi operations by armed men on March 1; and
  • Attacks on minibus taxis on March 5, which left six people wounded and 10 vehicles damaged.

These various incidents of violence between the two taxi associations have brought harm and intimidation to Soweto commuters and residents, the department said in a statement.

Routes could be closed for three months

"The Gauteng provincial government will not allow a situation where alleged hitmen have been hired to attack taxi leaders, commuters and taxi operators with impunity and members of rival associations allegedly attack one another and damage vehicles.

"We are clear that the law enforcement agencies will come down hard on those who perpetrate acts of violence in the taxi industry," the department said.

Affected or interested persons are expected to submit written responses or representations to the notice before Friday.

The affected taxi routes could be closed for the next three months pending the outcome of these representations.

If Vadi proceeds with the intended closures, taxi services along the affected routes in Soweto would be suspended from March 9 until June 8.

"During this period, no person shall be allowed to undertake passenger road transport services at the affected ranks and on the identified routes," the statement read.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  transport
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