Taxis caused chaos on Cape Town’s roads last Friday when they bloackaded all major roads leaving the city. This resulted in bumper-to-bumper traffic and severe delays for those using cars and buses trying to get home after a long day at work.
The City of Cape Town resorted to impounding and towing away a total of 26 taxis to clear traffic. The taxi protest stemmed from taxi drivers refusing to pay their fines, and wanting the said fines to be scrapped. Following Friday’s protest, Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works Bonginkosi Madikizela met with the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO).
Madikizela has also scheduled a meeting with the City of Cape Town’s Mayco Members for Transport Felicity Purchase and Safety and Security, JP Smith.
“My commitment is to find amicable solutions within the ambit of the law and ensure that people are transported to work safely and improve efficiency in the minibus-taxi industry which contributes massively to our economy,” the MEC said in a statement.
According to Madikizela, Smith agreed to consider releasing vehicles impounded last Friday if SANTACO provides a list of the drivers who blockaded the roads without the owners’ knowledge. SANTACO Leadership agreed to send the list, understanding that Smith will criminally charge the drivers.
“Those who continue to drive without operating licences and PDPs will face the might of the law,” Madikizela added. “The Provincial Regulatory Entity must look at the proper wording on the permit in this regard in order to make it easy for law enforcement agencies to identify those are off route because it’s a detour and those who are breaking the law.”
A workshop between the Department of Transport and Public Works and the City of Cape Town is scheduled for November 4. This will look at illegal operators, criteria to be used to issue operating licenses to minibus-taxi industry and e-hailing. “It must be emphasised that this problem is caused by associations who continuously accept new members by charging them joining fee as an incentive to flood the routes and put pressure on government to issue operating licences. Not all illegal operators will receive operating licences and we don’t want to raise expectations in this regard,” Madikizela said.
“Taxi drivers and some taxi owners are not keen on regularising their drivers relationship with the owners. This matter will be discussed at the planned workshop taking place next month,” he added. “We are committed at addressing a number of other issues bedeviling the mini-bus industry.”
Picture: Arrive Alive