The DA strongly condemns the taxi violence that has wreaked havoc on the Western Cape’s public transport sector and local communities. This violence has resulted in senseless deaths and has left many commuters stranded.
The DA calls on Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to urgently engage his colleagues, the Ministers of Defence and Police, to ensure that there are enough boots on the grounds to put an end to this violent thuggery.
Warring taxi associations have engaged in senseless acts of violence which has practically brought the public transport system in Cape Town, in particular, to a standstill and have placed innocent lives risk. Urgent intervention is required from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) to support the efforts by local law enforcement to quell the violence.
The DA welcomes the interventions announced by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on Tuesday to restore peace in the province. Premier Winde yesterday announced the following interventions:
- Called for more SANDF troops be deployed to the Western Cape.
- The Provincial Department of Transport and Public Work (DTPW) is considering approaching the Western Cape High Court to empower the MEC to place South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) associations under administration.
- The DTPW has suspended its financial support agreement with SANTACO until such time the violence ends.
- The Provincial Government is preparing to approach the High Court seeking a declaratory order that taxi associations such as Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA) are confined to specific geographic areas. The Province will also seek an interdict against associations to prevent them from establishing themselves outside demarcated geographical areas.
We also welcome the work done by the City of Cape Town’s Metro Police to bring an end to the violence and the announcement that the City will redeploy the dedicated Golden Arrow bus enforcement unit to protect commuters.
It is the commuters who are now bearing the brunt of this violence. Alternative public transport such as bus services have either been targeted by the violence or, in the case of trains, Metrorail infrastructure has been completely gutted.
The DA, therefore, urges Minister Mbalula to engage his Cabinet colleagues to provide further assistance to the province to ensure peace is restored.
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