Cape taxi wars: Services to resume following agreement with bosses

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No minibus taxis belonging to CATA and Codeta at the Cape Town deck (Lisalee Solomons, News24)
No minibus taxis belonging to CATA and Codeta at the Cape Town deck (Lisalee Solomons, News24)
  • Urgent talks between the Western Cape transport department and taxi bosses were convened on Thursday.
  • It follows conflict between rival taxi "mother bodiesCata and Codeta on Wednesday, which saw the killing of eight taxi operators in separate incidents across Cape Town. 
  • Both associations decided to halt their taxi operations due to the safety of their operators and commuters.

Minibus taxis are expected to resume services across Cape Town on Friday after an agreement was reached between officials and taxi bosses.

Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell held an urgent meeting with the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) and senior government officials on Thursday to address the current state of taxi violence and disruptions that have been plaguing the Western Cape.

The urgent meeting follows conflict between rival taxi "mother bodies" Cata and Codeta on Wednesday, which saw eight taxi operators killed in separate incidents across Cape Town.

READ | Four wounded in another Western Cape taxi shooting

Mitchell said Cata and Codeta committed themselves to ensure taxi transport operations would be resume from Friday. 

"A pledge for peace that secures lives and livelihoods will be signed by both Cata and Codeta as a public acknowledgement of their commitment to peaceful engagements and to ensuring a safe and reliable transport system. 

Both Cata and Codeta agreed to an immediate ceasefire and stopping of all forms of violence and destabilisation.

He added they did not want to compromise the safety of commuters.

Prior to the meeting on Thursday, both Cata and Codeta decided to halt their taxi operations due to the safety of their operators and commuters.

"Cata is unable to resume services without guaranteed security for both the operators and our passengers. We urge SAPS to deploy officers at all the affected routes to ensure the safety of the commuters," Cata spokesperson Mandla Hermanus said in a statement.

READ | High level talks to get under way in Western Cape following deadly spate of taxi shootings

He added Cata was saddened by the continued violence plaguing the taxi industry in the Western Cape, specifically, the conflict between the two associations.

Codeta spokesperson Andile Khanyi told News24 while taxi bosses were meeting with Mitchell, they were concerned about their drivers and that was why they had stopped operating.

Speaking about the effects the strike and violence had on the industry, a Khayelitsha taxi driver, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the shootings as "pure madness".

"Why did they have to kill some of my colleagues like that?" he asked.

He said authorities needed to sort out the route issues immediately.

Other taxi associations also weighed in on the matter.

Frank Qityiwe from the Du Noon Taxi Association said the association was trying to avoid the routes that were the cause of the conflict."We are scared to go to those routes in the interest of our drivers and passengers," he added.

A taxi driver from the Peninsula Taxi Association said even though they were not directly affected, business was slower than usual because some of their passengers had taken the decision to stay away due to the ongoing violence.

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