Durban community to meet over taxi bosses' advert 'threat'

Taxi rank. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Taxi rank. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Durban - The concerned community of Chatsworth will meet on Sunday to discuss a worrying taxi association newspaper advert announcing a ban on lift clubs in its area of operation.

Councillor Brandon Pillay said he was inundated with calls from residents and parents following the advert.

- Read: Taxi association under fire for 'threatening' advert

After the advert was placed in a local newspaper last week, letters were hand delivered to people by the Chatsworth Minibus Association.

"The tone in itself [in the letter] is unbecoming," Pillay told News24.

"Obviously they put out the advert to instil fear so that people will stop."

The Chatsworth Minibus Association placed the advertisement headed "Urgent Public Notice".

Among what several critics have branded thinly veiled threats was an instruction to pupils who used private taxis and lift clubs to contact the association.

The advertisement read: "Please note as of 1 January 2016, no private vehicles [taxis] will be allowed to commute passengers in Chatsworth.

"Scholars that are using private taxis need to contact the Chatsworth Minibus Association to arrange transport. Vehicles that have staff bus displayed on the front of the vehicles will also not be allowed to commute passengers in Chatsworth.

"The Chatsworth Minibus Association [is] the legal custodian of Chatsworth and therefore any vehicle that is not affiliated with the [association] will not be able to operate in the district of Chatsworth."

Pillay said the notice was illegal.

Taxi association not invited

The community would be meeting at 14:00 on Sunday at the Bayview Community Hall to discuss the matter. eThekwini transport authorities would also attend.

The taxi association was not invited.

"The reason for that is when the taxi association took the decision to put out this advert there was a meeting of the taxi association from our information and it did not involve anybody from the community or role players or stakeholders... hence we felt that's it important not to have them part of our meeting because we don't want to engage in a confrontation at this stage," said Pillay.

"We want to first listen to the community and take a proper mandate."

This mandate would be taken to a meeting requested with the association.

Pillay said the community of Chatsworth knew how taxi operators in the area worked and did not trust them with transporting their children to school.

"I must be honest, it's not the best of people that are part of that association.

"We've had horrible and horrific incidents of entire taxi loads of people dying in taxi crashes."

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