Following several weeks of engagements to quell the ongoing violence, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced a truce among taxi associations.
The Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) have been engaged in a deadly taxi war over routes for several years. Following the deaths of more than 20 people last month, communities have been paralysed. It prompted the deployment of police and the army in an attempt to restore order.
Mbalula stated that they had been working closely with the Western Cape government to find a solution to the ongoing conflict for the past three weeks.
“Having evaluated inputs from the affected associations, premised on the understanding that government has a duty to ensure provision of a public transport service that is safe and fully responsive to the needs of the public, government has determined a line of march which must be adhered to by all affected parties.”
These are measures agreed on as part of the deal:
- All legal operating licence holders for routes to and from Mbekweni, except for route B97, must commence the services as authorised by their operating licences or face the legal consequences;
- All associations must instruct their members to return to service in line with the authorities issued with their operating licences and must do so in a manner that is safe for the public, when route B97 is opened;
- When route B97 is opened, only legal operating licence holders will be allowed to operate and will serve the full route from the authorised ranks and terminals;
- Affected municipalities will be requested to place a moratorium on the issuance of new operating licences and applications for additional authorities on all affected routes, while also rationalising these services;
- If the affected municipalities indicate the need for additional services on route B97, operating licences will be apportioned in accordance with the arbitration award;
- Law enforcement capacity and deployment will be reviewed and strengthened in the affected areas to ensure enforcement of all laws without fear or favour;
- Should there be further acts of violence, all affected routes operated by the two associations will be closed for all minibus-taxi operations for a period determined by the Transport MEC and affected operating licences will be suspended.
“This line of march constitutes tangible action by government to stabilise the taxi industry operations in the province. We will continue to work closely with other law enforcement authorities to ensure the safety of the public and ensure the rule of law underpins operations,” Mbalula said.
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