Several businesses at Senwabarwana in the Blouberg Municipality in Limpopo remain closed following an ongoing taxi associations conflict.
Two local taxi associations, Bochum and Letswatla, are fighting over routes.
A taxi operator was allegedly assaulted and his vehicle set alight. According to a police statement, a forty-one-year-old taxi operator was arrested after he produced a firearm during a heated argument with other operators.
Commuters and business owners say they fear for their lives as the violence might escalate.
This is not the first time business owners in Senwabarwana have had to shut down their stores due to a taxi conflict. In December 2021, business owners were subjected to the same fate because of a taxi conflict in the area.
They say this year’s conflict is more intense after a bakkie belonging to one of the operators was set alight.
Some community members can’t go to work as they fear for their safety. Local businesses are suffering to make a profit.
Police Spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo says they are investigating a case of assault and malicious damage to property.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Major General Jan Scheepers has strongly condemned the acts of vigilantism that took place at Bochum taxi rank in Senwabarwana.
The Blouberg Civic Organisation (BCO) says the continuing taxi conflict in Blouberg is problematic for residents.
BCO chairperson Sonny Mannya says, “We are very disappointed with the continuous violence that is taking place within our taxi associations here at Blouberg. We have started engagements, making efforts, processes to bring all the warring parties together and we will engage the services of churches, the police and other stakeholders, businesses and other civic organisations to come to the table because this matter has been going on for a very long time.”
Meanwhile, residents in Polokwane and surrounding areas were left stranded after taxis blockaded main roads last Friday. Several vehicles were also torched when taxi associations were fighting over routes.
The video below is reporting on the Mankweng and Seshego-Polokwane Taxi Associations being at loggerheads over passengers: