Cape Town taxi violence: Next round of arbitration set for CATA and Codeta as ceasefire holds

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  • Cape Town's taxi industry will resume arbitration over a coveted route next week as the police and SA National Defence Force continue monitoring any possible flare-ups of violence. 
  • The Transport and Public Works Portfolio Committee updated the Western Cape legislature on the situation between Cata and Codeta on Tuesday. 
  • Neither will budge on who is entitled to the B97 route between Paarl and Bellville. 

Cape Town's taxi industry will resume arbitration over a coveted route next week as the police and SA National Defence Force continue monitoring any possible flare-ups of violence. 

The second round of arbitration is set down for 14 to 20 August, with witnesses from Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) expected to give evidence on issues relating to the dispute. 

The chief director for transport regulation, Yasir Ahmed, said any agreement reached at arbitration over route B97 between Bellville and Paarl was likely to go to court for confirmation as a declaratory order. 

CATA and Codeta are at odds over who is entitled to the route between Mbwekweni in Paarl and the Bellville Public Transport Interchange in Cape Town. 

READ | Cape Town taxi operator shot dead a day after ceasefire agreement

Eight-six people were killed in shootings directed at taxis this year - many of them passengers or bystanders. 

The Department of Transport closed the route, but it has since ordered taxi associations to service the routes they have permits for in other areas, to avoid prolonged disruption for commuters. 

Police and traffic cops patrol taxi ranks and bus stations in Cape Town amid violence.
Gallo Images Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais

However, while the situation regarding the B97 may still be in the balance, the transport department is pleased with the outcome of its Red Dot and Blue Dot taxi initiatives. 

The Red Dot service was established in 2020 with taxi drivers with input of around R42 000 per taxi specifically to drive healthcare workers to work and back in a sanitised vehicle with only 50% occupancy.


A company called Umanyano Travel Services (UTS) was formed, with 250 dedicated vehicles transporting more than 200 000 passengers.

They still transfer about 240 passengers per day to the Brackengate special Covid-19 field hospital due to other services being limited in that area.

They also assisted with passengers who could not get home after being discharged from Covid-19 treatment sites, and with ferrying more than 5 000 people to vaccination sites.

The cost of commissioning each vehicle was based on what it would have cost to hire vehicles and drivers from vehicle rental companies for the same service. 

READ | Mbalula slams recent Cape Town taxi violence as 'disappointing'

The service has been whittled down now, with the Blue Dot taxi incentive programme rising with rewards for good driving habits by taxi drivers.

Police patrolling taxi ranks and bus stations in Cape Town.
Gallo Images Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais

It only has around 1 000 operators on board so far, and they are also registered per region with UTS.

There is an estimated 15 000 legal taxi operators in the Western Cape, and about 5 000 illegal ones. 

Between them the operators move around 700 000 commuters per day in the province.


The director of operator licencing and permits for the transport department, Bernie McMahon, told the Transport and Public Works Portfolio Committee the drivers registered on this programme have to complete another driver training programme, their vehicles were inspected for roadworthiness, they must have all of the required licences and permits, and the driver must be willing to have a tracker fitted to the taxi. 

Routes are agreed to, and the driver is monitored via a tracker for speed and route deviations and must also complete off-peak trips to provide more service for commuters. 

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 29: Scholars on Jul
School pupils wait for public transport amid taxi violence.
Gallo Images Gallo Images/Misha Jordaan

They build up green stars as their rewards increase, and the maximum incentive is up to R10 000 per driver per month. 

However, only two drivers have attained this maximum reward in two months due to the difficulty in maintaining all of the driving requirements without fault.

They are branded with a blue dot and customers and other road users can also rate them on an app, so that good drivers can build up more points based on these ratings. Negative ratings also offer feedback on areas of improvement for the drivers.

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