Sunday, March 20, 2022

WC Transport & Public Works MEC condemns ongoing taxi violence in Nyanga area; warns of possible route/rank closure

Western Cape Transport & Public Works MEC, Daylinn Mitchell has condemned the attack on service delivery vehicles reported this week. On Friday, the City of Cape Town reported that 5 of its vehicles were set alight in Nyanga. This includes Golden Arrow buses, a Municipal truck and an Eskom vehicle. Other public transport operators have also been threatened and intimidated.

Mitchell alleges that the protest action has been orchestrated by sedan & Avanza operators providing minibus-taxi type services, also known as, amaphela operators.

These operators, added Mitchell, are allegedly unhappy with law enforcement initiatives in the Nyanga area that resulted in the impoundment of illegal “amaphela” vehicles.

‘’My department has a good partnership with the Western Cape Branch of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and we have always endeavoured to resolve key challenges facing the taxi industry by means of deliberation. We condemn this senseless violence and damage to property. We have met with SANTACO and we call on them to intervene and to take all reasonable steps to preclude further misconduct on the part of its members and members’ drivers.’’

 ‘’These are organised criminal actions that require intervention from the South African Police Services. I urge the Western Cape Provincial Police Commissioner to make available the required resources to investigate these cases using the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and to bring the perpetrators to book. There must be consequences for this type of contemptuous behaviour,’’ added Mitchell. 

Mitchell says that he is consulting with other stakeholders and warns that it may be necessary to close certain ranks and routes in Nyanga should the situation not die down

‘’I am cognisant of the fact that the majority of the residents of Nyanga are captive to public transport to actively participate in the economy and to access other social and economic opportunities.  We have a duty as a government to provide services to communities in a sustainable manner and to ensure a safe and dignified environment for public transport users. These unlawful actions have completely disrupted travel patterns and brought fear and instability in the community of Nyanga and its surrounds.  The situation is deteriorating to such an extent that the safety of commuters and residents in the area is at risk.’’

‘’I am in the process of consulting with other regulatory stakeholders and it may be necessary to declare the Nyanga area as high-risk in respect of taxi violence.  This will allow me to invoke my powers in terms of section 91 of the National Land Transport Act (Act no.5 of 2009) to close certain ranks and routes should the situation deteriorate any further. Other regulatory interventions are also being considered to stabilise the situation,’’ added Mitchell. 

The MEC says they are monitoring the area closely and have asked both SAPS and law enforcement agencies to sustain the efforts in the Nyanga area

 

PICTURED: Daylinn Mitchell at Bush Radio

Done By: Mitchum George

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