B97 route will remain closed
The Western Cape Mobility Department confirmed that the B97 route from Mbekweni, Paarl, to Bellville will remain closed until further notice starting from Monday 26 September 2022, despite an agreement reached between leaders of CATA, and CODETA aligned route associations
The taxi route was closed in July 2021, due to taxi violence between the local Paarl Alliance Taxi Association (PATA), which is affiliated to CODETA, and CATA Boland.
MEC Daylin Mitchell said the reason for the extended closure is due to a regulatory process that still needs to be finalised.
“Several peace talks and difficult discussions took place over the past year and a landmark agreement has recently been brokered on the sharing of the contentious Route B97. The memorandum of agreement sets out how the allotted operating licences will be divided and how the respective parties will operate on the route.”
“In terms of the agreement, operating licences will be apportioned on an equal basis (50/50) between the two associations commensurate to the demand for services as shown in the transportation plans for the area. Both associations have committed to stop recruiting new members in excess of passenger demand and to desist from allowing illegal operators to trade on route B97.
There are several administrative and legislative procedures that must be followed for the regis tration of new members and the issuing of operating licences to affiliated members. The process to issue operating licences is prescribed by law and applications must be published for public comment. The route will remain closed until the regulatory process has been finalised.”
Mitchell said Golden Arrow bus trips will remain in operation between Bellville and Paarl to transport commuters. The MEC remains hopeful that the reopening of the B97 route is soon.
“Extending the closure of these routes and ranks will help to maintain the relative stability that was restored to the public transport environment in the affected areas and support the process of finding lasting peace.”
Done By: Mitchum George