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Minister Madikizela Intervenes In WC Taxi Violence

Minister Madikizela has held separate meetings with the leadership of the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associations (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) to engage both sets of leaders on the current taxi related violence and murders that involve their members and affiliates.

Taxi associations affiliated to the two mother-bodies have been involved in tit-for-tat attacks and hits on rivals as they vie for control over taxi routes and ranks throughout the Western Cape, including current ‘hotspots’ in Bellville, Mbekweni, Houtbay, Masiphumelele, Ceres and other areas. 

There have been 56 taxi-related murders and 32 attempted murders between 1 January and 17 August 2020. SAPS is making good progress with investigations into these cases and others with 106 arrests over the last 3 years and 54 cases currently on the Court rolls.    

At the start of both meetings held this week, he warned of the possible closure of taxi ranks and routes if the violence and shooting incidents do not stop immediately. He called these meetings with Codeta and CATA, not just to sternly address the leadership about the senseless murders and attempted murders that recently also led to three commuters being caught in the cross fire when gunmen opened fire at the rank in Bellville, but also to provide both sets of leaders a ‘safe space’ within which to talk freely about the underlying causes of the tensions and violence from their respective points of view. 

The meetings, which were held at the Department of Transport and Public Works’ offices at 9 Dorp Street were also attended by senior departmental officials and an independent mediator, who has been appointed by the Department to be on call to both parties to facilitate talks towards the peaceful resolution of disputes over routes and ranks.

CATA and Codeta leaders expressed their concerns and complaints along with their own proposals towards the resolution of specific disputes, from which I and my officials were able to extract a number of common threads that have been used to craft a set of resolutions that were sent to both parties and to affected municipalities for their inputs.

The draft resolutions include a number of ‘non-negotiables’ which Minister Madikizela tabled at the start of each of the two meetings. 

These include:

  1. The leadership of CATA, Codeta and their affiliates will abide by the law and will immediately:
    1. stop all hostilities against members and employees of each other’s associations
    2. allow all holders of valid operating licences to operate in accordance with their rights
    3. neither allow, nor encourage illegal operations on any routes or at any ranks
  2. The Department of Transport and Public Works will prepare a notice of intention and final regulations to close affected ranks and routes and to suspend affected operating licences in the event of further violence.  No minibus-taxi services will be allowed on closed routes and vehicles of offending operators will be impounded and the holders of the operating licences will be criminally prosecuted.
  3. I, together with the department, will engage municipalities on the management of public transport ranks and interchanges and the implementation of proper access control and security measures.

The full set of ten draft resolutions has been circulated to the industry leaders for their review and discussion with their respective members. The final resolutions will be announced at a joint media briefing between the Ministry and the leaders of CATA, Codeta and the Western Cape branch of the SA National Taxi Council (SANTACO-WC) on a date to be communicated.