The newly appointed Western Cape Minister for Transport and Public Works, Daylin Mitchell, has met with taxi bosses to try and resolve the ongoing violence in Nyanga.
Several vehicles have been set ablaze in the Nyanga area since last week.
In a statement on Thursday, Mitchell said the taxi industry leaders had joined him in condemning the violence.
“I met with leaders of the taxi industry today (Thursday) in an effort to resolve the ongoing violence in Nyanga.
“Buses, government vehicles and private vehicles have been set alight in the Nyanga area since last week. This caused serious disruptions and unrest in the community.
“The taxi industry leaders joined me in condemning the violence in the strongest possible terms as well as the criminal acts that have been reported in the last few days,” said Mitchell.
He said the taxi industry was on record as distancing itself from the violence and criminal acts that were currently happening in the area.
“It is important to note that the unrest in Nyanga is not only about transport issues but is also the result of criminal activity. I have a duty to protect public transport commuters and other road users.
“If the violence continues, I will have no option but to exercise my power and invoke Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act (Act 5 of 2009) in the interest of bringing stability and peace in the area.
“The Act empowers me to identify and close ranks and routes affected by the disruptions in the event that the violence continues or escalates.
There will be ongoing discussions with the taxi industry to find lasting solutions to the concerns raised,” he said.
Meanwhile, Golden Arrow Bus Services spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said at least 75 of its buses had been damaged as a result of the ongoing violence.
Dyke-Beyer said the cost of damages incurred had not yet been fully calculated as the bus service for commuters in the area had been running from Borcherds Quarry, IOL reported.
“This cannot continue, though, as our passengers are being forced to walk long distances in order to access our services or get home after work. Given the state of the economy it is completely unacceptable for our passengers’ livelihoods to be jeopardised by late-coming as a result of this lawlessness,” the report quoted Dyke-Beyer as saying.