Urgent meeting over taxi violence finds a way forward

2018-07-25 21:58
Taxi rank (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Taxi rank (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Following the recent increase in incidents of taxi violence, with the latest being the murder of a taxi boss in Alexandra on Monday, the Gauteng provincial legislature convened an urgent meeting with the leadership of the taxi industry on Wednesday. 

The legislature's roads and transport portfolio committee called the urgent meeting after a 69-year-old taxi boss affiliated to the Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand and Sandton Taxi Association was gunned down outside his home.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said an unknown number of gunmen approached the taxi boss when he was reversing out of his yard.

"He was shot and died instantly on the spot," Dlamini said.

He added that the motive for the shooting was unknown and that police were treating the matter as a priority.

In a statement, chairperson of the portfolio committee Mafika Mgcina said they received and welcomed presentations from the leadership of the taxi industry and the Gauteng department of roads and transport.

Concerns over issuing of permits

"The leadership of the taxi industry took ownership of the ongoing violence in the industry and blames some operators who do not adhere to the regulations of the industry by operating in routes not allocated to them," said Mgcina.

"Representatives of the industry also raised concerns around the manner in which the Gauteng department of roads and transport and local municipalities issues operating permits, particularly in new malls and residential areas.

"Both the department and representatives of the taxi industry made a commitment to creating a safe, peaceful, reliable, efficient and accessible transport system and all agreed on condemning violence and the recent killings."

The following resolutions were taken at the meeting:

  • An urgent meeting must be held with the leadership of the provincial government, all taxi associations in Gauteng as well as affected stakeholders including law enforcement agencies;
  • The committee and department must develop a roadmap on the implementation of an ad-hoc committee's resolutions on the issuing of permits and operating licences;
  • There should be a call for gun free taxi ranks;
  • The taxi industry must immediately deal with power struggles between the leadership of its associations; and
  • Law enforcement agencies must collaborate with the taxi industry leadership on any credible information that will lead to the arrest of all the perpetrators.

In KwaZulu-Natal, police made a breakthrough following this weekend's shooting in Colenso, leading to one man linked to the matter appearing in the Durban Magistrate's Court.

Eleven people affiliated to the Ivory Park Taxi Association died in the attack on Saturday night. One of four people who were critically injured later succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Tuesday.

The minibus taxi in question was travelling from a funeral in Ematimatolo back to Johannesburg on Saturday night along the R74 between Colenso and Weenen when it was ambushed by a group of gunmen.

WATCH: Footage shows bullet-riddled minibus taxi in which 11 people were killed

The 35-year-old man made his first appearance before Magistrate Mahomed Motala on Wednesday.

Following a request from prosecutor Calvin Govender, Motala ruled that he could not be named while sensitive investigations continued.

The man has been charged with alleged illegal possession of 73 rounds of AK-47 ammunition. He was arrested on Tuesday.

He is expected to appear in court again on August 1.

Read more on:    crime

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