Western Cape Minister of Transport Bonginkosi Madikizela says 87 taxi drivers and operators have been killed in 2020 in ongoing taxi violence in the province.
He says a dedicated team of detectives was established to investigate taxi-related crimes.
Madikizela addressed the provincial taxi industry Lekgotla in Cape Town aimed at addressing a number of issues plaguing the sector. These include rivalry over lucrative routes and extortion.
Rival taxi organisations have been at loggerheads over lucrative routes.
Madikizela says leaders need to commit to peace and unity.
“Colleagues, it is really painting a bleak picture that 87 operators and drivers have been killed this year alone. 63 cases are registered including murder, double murder and triple-murder cases. A further 34 cases of attempted murder are also under investigation. With 40 victims wounded. Commuters have been caught in the crossfire as rival taxi groupings send hitmen to take out rivals. This image of a warring blood-soaked minibus taxi industry will only change when leaders commit to peace and unity.”
Partnership with government
The Chairperson of SANTACO in the Western Cape, Nazeem Abdurahman, says change within the minibus taxi industry can only happen in partnership with government. He was also speaking at the taxi Lekgotla.
With the collapse of the rail system in Cape Town, minibus taxis transport up to 70% of all commuters.
Abdurahman says the industry cannot grow or professionalise outside of a government subsidised structure.
“The expectation is for us as the minibus taxi industry to enjoy the same subsidy that government is giving all other modes of transport. We are transporting currently about 70% of commuters daily and to operate without a subsidy is very difficult to give that first class service to our citizens that they deserve.”
Western Cape taxi industry stakeholders meet in Cape Town to discuss issues affecting their business: