Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde calls for more South African National Defence Force (SANDF) troops to be deployed in the province following the ongoing taxi violence.
More than 70 people have already been killed in taxi-related shootings since the beginning of the year. A 42-year-old man became the latest victim after he was shot and wounded outside his home on Tuesday, July 20. It is alleged the man belongs to one of the taxi associations in the Western Cape.
According to the Premier, the SANDF already deployed a company of soldiers in the Western Cape on Friday, July 16 as part of its countrywide response to the unrest seen in some provinces, however, more boots are needed on the ground to assist the SAPS in their response to ongoing taxi violence.
“After a conversation with the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt. Gen. Patekile, I will officially request that this force be bolstered,” Winde said.
He said the local government cannot allow a group of “thugs” to continue to threaten the lives of residents and to commit what is a clear act of economic sabotage by preventing people from getting to work safely.
“The SAPS have also confirmed with me that they have already significantly increased their presence in all hotspot areas, including interventions through roadblocks, and unmarked vehicles to ensure that any person who is planning to disrupt transport modes is arrested,” Winde added.
Hundreds of commuters should still make alternative travel arrangements after the Golden Arrow Bus Services confirmed that even though the services are still limited, there’s slightly more buses on the road than yesterday.
Meanwhile, law enforcement authorities have already arrested 12 people in connection with the taxi violence and more arrests are expected to follow. The Western Cape government will also activate a Court Watching Brief Unit to ensure that any arrests linked to taxi violence are monitored in courts in the province.