Communities cannot live in fear due to taxi violence: Cele

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has responded to the deadly taxi clashes in the Hout Bay area. Cele met with stakeholders, including community members, on the Cape Peninsula following last week’s killing of five people.

Two rival taxi associations have since been suspended as a result of the violence.

Cele says the issues must be addressed as communities cannot live in fear as residents of nearby Imizamo Yethu say that they are now living in fear.

Two people have been arrested and police have increased operations. The illegal taxi rank was closed and suspension of taxi services, that could last up to six months, were issued.

Cele says it was clear from Monday’s meeting that all involved feel consultations and discussions were nowhere near efficient and thorough enough.

“The industry itself is urged to speak from one voice because, as you hear, maybe the agreement would be with one section while the other section of the industry is not part of it. Thirdly, whatever negotiations will take place would have to take communities on board.”

Taxi associations Codeta and Cata say the meeting didn’t yield any results and they believe taxi issues should be resolved by the taxi industry.

Besuthu Ndungane of Codeta says that they do not want anyone to die.

“It goes without saying that we don’t want to see anyone dying, but as long as the government doesn’t want to take responsibility in terms of regulatory failure, then we are going to end up coming to meetings that yield no results.”

Mandla Hermanus of Cata says that they would like interim transport arrangements to be made.

“We would have liked to have heard about how interim arrangements could be made to transport people. Because, remember now, these associations that operate here have been suspended and their vehicles cannot operate and yet there is no planning in place to take people to work and where ever they need to go, in the meantime, while these associations are under suspensions.”

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande is expected to visit the area on Tuesday.