- Taxi association Cata said two of its affiliate drivers were among three people shot in Camps Bay on Wednesday over a route dispute.
- One of the drivers died at the scene, and another is critically injured in hospital.
- A third person not associated with the taxi industry was killed in the crossfire.
The Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) said the shocking shooting in Camps Bay was caused by a long-standing route rights question.
Cata public relations officer Mkululeko Sityebi told News24 three people, and not two were shot on Wednesday.
Two of the men were taxi drivers affiliated with Cata and belonged to the Hout Bay Taxi Association.
One died at the scene, and the second driver was taken to hospital, critically injured by the bullets that flew in the glamorous suburb.
A third person not linked to the taxi industry, whose identity has not been released officially, was also killed in the crossfire, Sityebi said.
At the root of the problem, he added, was the fact only MyCiTi buses have a permit for the Camps Bay route.
Sityebi said Cata and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations have been at odds over who had the right to take taxi passengers to the Cape Town CBD.
He would not apportion blame for the shooting but said the issue had been bubbling under since the integrated rapid transit taxi route buyouts by the City of Cape Town for its new bus service.
MyCiTi buses have dedicated exclusive use lanes, with passengers paying through a card-based fare system. Typically, the buses' shareholders include taxi associations or bus companies, with many driven by retrained taxi drivers.
Two men shot dead in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Their bodies were found along the beach near Victoria Road.— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) October 5, 2022
Sityebi said no taxi association had an operating permit for that route due to MyCiTi being the only operating permit holder.
He added details about the shooting remained sketchy but understood one driver was shot in his taxi.
"There is no clarity on who has the right to operate at the same time."
Taxis were operating on Thursday, despite the tension.
Sityebi did not want to release the name of the dead victim to give his family some privacy as they grieved.
The police and City of Cape Town said they have included the possibility of conflict between taxi operators in the scope of their investigations.
The City's safety MMC, JP Smith, said information available suggested it might be due to friction over taxi routes between Hout Bay and Camps Bay.
The City has increased its safety deployments in the area, as it did in Nyanga during a long and violent dispute there which was eventually resolved.
The Western Cape Department of Transport is still thrashing out a peace agreement over the contested B97 route between Bellville and Paarl after a deadly conflict.
It was closed in July 2021 after a series of deadly shootings, and negotiators are now working on a 50/50 route sharing agreement.
The chairperson of the Camps Bay Community Policing Forum, Alan Marsh, told News24 the shooting was unusual for Camps Bay.
"It is very unusual. Usually, we have alcohol-related incidents."
Camps Bay is extremely popular with local and international visitors for its long flat beach, rock formations and strip of restaurants and bars perfectly poised for sunset selfies.
Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and pledged to help the police track down the shooters.
"I want to assure both locals and those not from our shores that we will do everything in our power to apprehend these unscrupulous characters."
He also forwarded a social media post that might be of help to the police to the relevant authorities and has called on anyone with information to contact the police.
The province is also about to activate its tourism safety officers in the Cape Town CBD and on Table Mountain National Park trails as it gears up for what it hopes will be a bumper tourist season.
Chrysalis graduates would also be incorporated into this programme.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis had been scheduled to attend a simulated rescue and first aid demonstration at Camps Bay by some of the City's 600 lifeguards, but this was called off on Thursday.