lDue to an increase in vehicle confiscations and available funding, the Ndabeni impound lot will undergo a R7.5-million upgrade to make room for more public transport vehicles.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Security and Safety JP Smith explains that the City is impounding increasingly more public transport vehicles and requires more space to do this.

“The Ndabeni pound has historically been used for private vehicles that have been left abandoned, while impounded public transport vehicles have been kept in the Maitland pound. The high number of confiscations means that we do not have sufficient space, and so going forward the additional capacity at Ndabeni will be used to store taxis too.”

The project will be completed in phases, with the first focusing on the construction of an area with demarcated parking bays, the installation of a stormwater drainage system and high mast lighting.

The expansion of the Ndabeni pound will increase the carrying capacity to 750 vehicles, currently its capacity is only to host 400 vehicles. Additional funding granted though the City’s Adjustment Budget has made way for these improvements at the pound.

Smith comments on how reckless taxi drivers in Cape Town are causing the overflow of confiscated taxis in the Maitland impound lot.

“Our taxi pound is like a revolving door. In most cases, vehicles are collected within a day or two and the offending driver returns to the road to continue bad driving behaviour. Very few are deterred by the steep increases in the impoundment release fee for repeat offenders.”

Cape Town Traffic Services has been hard at work keeping our roads in order, between January 1 – March 14 2019 it has impounded:

– 678 minibus and sedan taxis

– 495 drivers vehicles operating without a permit

– 183 operating contrary to the conditions of their permit.

The impound unit in Ndabeni.

Smith says that vehicles can now be confiscated for more reasons than before: “Changes to the law now also mean that vehicles can be impounded for serious driving offences and not just permit transgressions. So, the rate of impoundments will likely increase, but I remind members of the public to consider the logistics of impounding a vehicle and that it takes an officer out of circulation for the time that he or she has to get that vehicle to the pound and complete all of the necessary documentation.”

Public transport vehicles which are not collected from the impound after 18-24 months are disposed of – they are crushed using a compactor.

Smith adds that the City is cracking down on reckless public transport drivers.

“The policing of the public transport industry is hard work and very often a thankless task. We face ongoing criticism for our apparent lack of action against taxi drivers. The statistics, however, show that we are doing as much as we can with the resources that we have at our disposal. We desperately need tougher laws that will help make a real impact. ”

He also believes that a “three-strike system”, which would involve the permanent confiscation of vehicles after three traffic offences, should be implemented as it would have many more drivers abiding by the law.

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Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.