Mashaba: Unbearable conditions at JHB taxi ranks

My visit to Randburg Taxi Rank in Hillbrow today was a painful reminder of the consequences of poor leadership and the lack of proactive planning under Mayor Parks Tau’s administration.

I am appalled that although this taxi rank services on average between 15 000 and 20 000 people a day, there is a visible lack of infrastructure and unbearable conditions that commuters face each day.

Many of the commuters I interacted with today, have for several months now experienced a pungent stench from blocked toilets and overflowing sewerage which often reaches areas where food is sold.

This after the ANC-run City of Johannesburg allegedly cancelled the vendor’s cleaning contracts for the toilets and the entire taxi rank.

The inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure reveals no consideration of the harsh and extreme weather conditions people experience when standing in long queues.

Petty crimes such as muggings are rife, particularly in winter, due to poor security and no electricity.

Local vendors use candles when selling goods to night- shift workers in the evenings.

The thousands of commuters in Randburg taxi rank, and others like it around Joburg, play a crucial role in this city’s economy.

It is important that this space is made accessible, safe and clean. A happy commuter is a productive worker.

Upon being elected Mayor on the 3 August, I will ensure significant investment in crucial infrastructure and services.

I will coordinate infrastructure investment between the council, provincial and national government as well as public and private transport operators.

I would also like to strongly condemn the continued taxi violence which has resulted in at least 7 deaths over the past two months, most recently two people who were shot dead outside the Mall of Africa this past weekend.

Over the same period, more than 10 people have been injured – the majority of who where uninvolved members of the public.

I can guarantee that this would not be the case under a DA-run City of Johannesburg. If elected mayor on 3 August, I will set up a task team to look into the taxi violence and work closely with the provincial government and taxi associations to resolve this situation.

I acknowledge the crucial role the taxi industry plays in our city, transporting hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis. Indeed, for many residents of Joburg, taxis are their only form of transport.

Under a DA government in Johannesburg, all transport modes will complement one another other so that a seamless system, with integrated ticketing, evolves.

The public transport system as well as taxi ranks must be appropriate, comfortable, safe, well maintained, and accessible to everyone, including the disabled.

Only under a DA government can the City be host to spatially-integrated taxi ranks with vigorous economic activity and safe and efficient transport services.


Herman Mashaba

DA Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg


Taxi violence: Vaadi and Tau missing in action

I condemn the recent taxi violence that has resulted in the death of two taxi bosses and two taxi drivers over the past two days in Johannesburg.

Over the past month, five people have been killed and eleven injured as a result of the ongoing violence.

As the violence continues to spiral out of control, it is the people of Joburg whose lives are put in constant danger. Eight of the eleven injured have been uninvolved members of the public.

When elected mayor on 3 August, I will set up a task team to look into this spiraling violence and work closely with the provincial government and taxi associations to resolve this situation.

I will also increase the budget for the JMPD and ensure that they are better capacitated to deal swiftly and effectively with taxi violence when it emerges.

I acknowledge the crucial role the taxi industry plays in our city, transporting thousands of people on a daily basis. For many residents of Joburg, taxis  are their only form of transport and this highlights the urgency of resolving this matter.

It is clear that transport MEC Ismail Vaadi has lost control of the situation.

At the same time Tau’s silence shows a mayor whose administration lacks the will to deal with this emergency.

I call on Tau to immediately action the reprioritisation of the JMPD to monitor taxi routes and protect innocent commuters and bystanders being caught in the crossfire.

It is also essential that the JMPD work in conjunction with SAPS to ensure maximised visible policing and a quick response to any situation.

The Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport in the Gauteng Legislature set up an enquiry into the taxi industry early last year, yet the report has not been released.

It is essential that the report is urgently released so that its recommendations can be implemented to bring an end to taxi-related violence in Joburg once and for all.

Until such time, innocent bystanders and motorists will continue to be the victims of violence that has arisen as a result of deep rooted corruption within the ANC administration in Gauteng and Joburg.

I mourn with the families of those killed over the past month. This was completely avoidable had Vaadi and Tau done their jobs properly.

The people of Joburg need to use their vote on 3 August to bring an end to the rot that has set in.

Vote for the change you want to see.


Herman Mashaba

DA Mayoral Candidate: Johannesburg



Gauteng Roads And Transport MEC Must Intervene On Metered Taxi Violence

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, must act swiftly to defuse the growing tension between metered taxi drivers and Uber operators before more acts of violence, like those seen in Sandton where shots were fired at an Uber driver today, take place.

Earlier this week, MEC Vadi took positive steps to bring Uber drivers in to the transport fold by registering them as licensed operators. In doing so, Uber drivers will now be operating within the boundaries of the law while providing a useful, safe and innovative service to Gauteng’s residents.

MEC Vadi must engage with law enforcement agencies to ensure those perpetrating violence are arrested and thrown in jail.

Some metered taxi drivers however have displayed their grievances with this process. Their views should be taken up with the MEC through the correct channels of communication and not by violence.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

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Centurion Taxi Violence A Result Of Inadequate Facilities

Gauteng’s Public Transport System

An enquiry into the causes of yesterday’s violent confrontations at the Centurion taxi rank will unfortunately reveal the same continuous problems in this vital sector of Gauteng’s public transport system.


A recent investigation into the province’s taxi industry revealed that a toxic mix of criminal activity, disregard for laws and regulations, and deep-rooted official corruption underlie the industry.


The Centurion violence was apparently sparked by a dispute between Centurion and Tembisa operators as the latter allegedly ignored their route authorisation by dropping commuters in Centurion and taking them back to Tembisa.


Taxi operators regularly either deliberately muscle in on routes for which they have no permission or obtain illegal duplicate route permits from officials.

Lack of Official Regulation


Lack of official regulation of the taxi industry convinces rogue operators that there will be no consequences for illegal behaviour.


In the face of rampant criminality, the police point to a lack of crime intelligence and intimidation of commuters, which guarantee that hit squads and enforcers are never fingered, much less charged, in this situation.


Centurion is likely to remain a taxi violence hotspot, as the area where the rank is located is under development, and operators fear they will either be forced to move to a much less convenient area for commuters or be given an area too small to accommodate their vehicles.


Some years ago the DA proposed that each new large development be obliged by law to provide adequate taxi facilities, precisely to reduce turf wars, but the Tshwane Metro has thus far taken no notice.


Perhaps reason could still prevail and Centurion might become a test case for a more easily monitored and controlled taxi operation.



Media Enquiries:

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

060 558 8305

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Gauteng Taxi Violence Requires Coordinated Approach

Effect of Taxi Violence

The DA welcomes the arrest of five suspects following the fatal shooting of a 45-year old woman at the Sangweni taxi rank in Tembisa on Tuesday.

It is believed the incident was in connection with an ongoing war between rival taxi associations, allegedly over routes.

The DA is highly concerned over the effect of taxi violence on Gauteng’s people.

Increased Police Presence

In the absence of other transport alternatives, hundreds of thousands of commuters use minibus taxis to get to work and go about their business every day – and should be able to do so without fearing for their lives.

While the swift police response following this incident is commendable, the DA believes that increased police presence and action alone will not address the core issues at play.

Disputes and violence between taxi operators over routes arise when operators without the required route permits poach passengers along the routes of others.

Preventing this requires a proactive approach from both the departments of community safety and roads and transport, by increasing law enforcement along taxi routes, and to immediately impound operators without valid permits.

Increased Cooperation Between Transport and Community Safety

Disputes over routes are easier solved at the negotiating table and through proactive government action, instead of trying to crisis manage incidence of violence whenever they flare up.

To this end the DA will engage with both Transport MEC Ismael Vadi and his counterpart in Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane to increase cooperation between their departments and to act against illegal taxi operators.

Gauteng’s commuters need safe and affordable transport to go about their daily business, and the DA will continue to act in their interests and hose for a safer province.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

[Image source]