Amaphela taxi drivers arrested in Nyanga
By Khanyisa Tabata
31 July 2009
City Traffic Officers conducted an early morning operation in Nyanga today on “Amaphela” and arrested 11 illegal operators.
“Amaphela” – means cockroaches in Xhosa are family cars that operate exclusively in the townships, because their drivers are not willing to take the risk of using them on the open road because of several automatic defects which render them unroadworthy and which would result in them being impounded.
From 06:00 to 09:30, 173 motorists were charged for not having a valid driving licence, 15 for not wearing their safety belts, 101 for operating unlicensed vehicles on a public road and a further 83 fines were issued for other vehicle defects.
“It is concerning to find so many illegal operators, unlicensed drivers and vehicles with major defects like faulty brakes and smooth tyres transporting commuters. Driving an unsafe car poses a danger not only to the passenger, but to other road users as well,” said Cape Town Traffic Services Chief Inspector Merle Lourens.
In the past two days, the Technical Services Section of Traffic Services has also concentrated on the bus and minibus taxi (BMT) lane and issued 148 fines for driving illegally in the BMT lane, 95 for passenger overloads, eight for travelling illegally on the shoulder of the road, two for following too closely and nine for crossing/ driving over the painted island. A total of 241 other traffic offences were also recorded.