Western Cape Transport MEC threatens to close taxi routes as unrest continues in Nyanga

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Seven vehicles were set alight in Nyanga on Wednesday morning, in ongoing tensions between the taxi industry and traffic officials.
Seven vehicles were set alight in Nyanga on Wednesday morning, in ongoing tensions between the taxi industry and traffic officials.
City of Cape Town
  • Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell has threatened to close taxi routes in Nyanga.
  • This is in response to unrest in the taxi industry.
  • The unrest was sparked by a traffic operation in which several taxis were impounded. 

Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell has threatened to close taxi ranks and routes affected by violent protests in Nyanga if the unrest doesn't come to an end.

The protests were reportedly in retaliation for a traffic operation in which 50 minibus taxis were impounded.

Mitchell said in a statement on Thursday that he had met with taxi industry leaders to try to resolve the ongoing dispute.

There will be ongoing discussions with the industry to find lasting solutions to the concerns raised, he said.

"It is important to note that the unrest in Nyanga is not only about transport issues but is also the result of criminal activity. I have a duty to protect public transport commuters and other road users," he added.

READ | 'It's overwhelming' - Taxi industry, vandalism await newly appointed Western Cape transport MEC

"If the violence continues, I will have no option but to exercise my power and invoke Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act (Act 5 of 2009) in the interest of bringing stability and peace in the area. The act empowers me to identify and close ranks and routes affected by the disruptions in the event that the violence continues or escalates."

Last week, three people were injured when Golden Arrow buses were stoned and one was set alight at the Nyanga terminus. 

And this week, according to Golden Arrow Bus Services spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer, two GABS vehicles were set alight on Monday. All bus operations were moved to Borcherds Quarry Road on Tuesday.

Seven vehicles were set alight in Nyanga on Wednesday.

The seven vehicles, which included two City of Cape Town vehicles, were torched during peak-hour traffic, mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith told News24.

"We further call on any member of the public with information about those behind the recent spate of violence in the area to please report it to the South African Police Service or to contact the City's Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 ?480 7700? from a cellphone or 107 from a landline," he said.

"It is unthinkable that criminal elements can create chaos and endanger lives in the manner that they have over the past few days, and get away with it."

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