MANDENI Municipality mayor, Siphesihle Zulu and public transport operators signed a pledge aimed at strengthening the working relationship between the municipality and taxi association members during the festive season at the Public Transport Operators meeting held at KwaSithebe on Friday afternoon.
“Apart from strengthening working relations, this pledge is a commitment by all parties involved that they will serve the public peacefully during this busy time of the year,” said head of the municipal communications unit, Mdu Manzi.
Manzi added: “This is a ground breaking initiative by [the mayor] as he said in his own words that ‘It is rare for taxi owners and road traffic inspectors to come together and talk about ways of working together’."
Mayor Zulu urged transport operators to play a role in curbing the ever increasing number of road accidents.
“Mandeni has been clouded by violence in the public transport industry and a huge amount of road accidents over the years and this gathering was also aimed at trying to find ways of minimising road accidents,” he said.
During the session, the mayor lamented the way taxi owners handle their feuds, stating that people’s lives are placed at risk in times of taxi violence.
"iLembe is known for taxi violence; let's do away with the killing. Violence can be ended, we are willing to end it, because violence hampers the success of the business,” said Zulu.
With the iLembe District being a popular holiday destination due to its beaches such as Dokodweni, Tugela Mouth and Zinkwazi, the mayor urged the police to be alert at these areas.
He asked SAPS members to ensure that Mandeni is a hostile territory for would be robbers and killers. Furthermore, he urged liquor store and tavern owners to increase their security personnel.
Stipulated in the pledge, all parties involved committed themselves into abiding by the laws of the country into ensuring that they are united in serving the community, said Manzi.
This is a ground breaking initiative by [the mayor] as he said in his own words that ‘It is rare for taxi owners and road traffic inspectors to come together and talk about ways of working together.