Western Cape government closes taxi route between Bellville and Paarl

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Western Cape Transport Minister, Daylin Mitchell, has closed the taxi route between Bellville and Paarl. The decision comes as clashes between rival groups CATA and CODETA continue.

More than 20 people have been killed in the conflict over the past two weeks.

Mitchell says the B 97 route is the main cause of the conflict with both organisations claiming that they have the right to operate on it.

He says his decision follows a publication in the government gazette and that he’s applied his mind following consultations with the police, premier Alan Winde and the national transport department.

The closure of the route will take effect on Monday next week.

On Wednesday, the Western Cape government made an official request for the deployment of more soldiers to quell the ongoing taxi violence in the province.

A decision on whether or not to close certain taxi routes and ranks in Cape Town may follow:

The soldiers are assisting law enforcement officials to bring stability in the affected routes.

Golden Arrow Bus Service is offering limited service after one of the drivers was shot in the face near Nyanga.

Law enforcement officials have conducted search operations in some taxi ranks and escorted some taxi and busses along affected routes to ensure safety.

Winde said he envisages double the current number of soldiers to bolster the law enforcement.

“I have also engaged with the military, to say, can we have some more. I am not asking for thousands but any extra few help in a bus depot or taxi rank or on a route. This is really to bolster the police, it’s actually the police’s job but we have two few overall so this will help the police to keep safe. I cannot have citizens living in fear”.

The deadly feud between taxi associations CATA and CODETA is over the routes between Mbekweni and Bellville.