Gauteng transport MEC pleads for peace between warring Soweto taxi operators

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Gauteng MEC for roads and transport Ismail Vadi on Tuesday pleaded for peace between two rival taxi associations in Soweto, saying violence would not resolve their differences.

This comes after police arrested three suspects for being in possession of illegal firearms after a shootout broke out on Tuesday morning in Dube, allegedly between the Nancefield-Dube West Taxi Association (Nanduwe) and the Witwatersrand African Taxi Association (Wata).

“The ruling by PRE infers that WATA has irregularly encroached on the routes registered in the name of Nanduwe.

“The Department of Roads and Transport appeals to the members of both taxi associations to abide by the ruling.”

The ongoing taxi conflict between Nanduwe and Wata has been simmering for several months, at times resulting in the loss of lives and interruption of commuter services.

Nanduwe taxi operators have been accusing Wata of defying a court judgment ordering them to withdraw their taxis from the Dube route and also prohibiting them from picking up passengers in the area. They have also been fighting over early morning pickup points in Mofolo, Orlando West and Central Western Jabavu.

“If any party is unhappy or aggrieved with the ruling, it must follow due process allowed for in law and lodge an appeal with the National Regulatory Entity.

“Acts of violence and intimidation, blockading of roads and disruption of normal taxi services will never resolve the matter and will not result in a different ruling by the provincial regulatory entity.

“We wish to compliment the law enforcement agencies for the swift arrests this morning of two persons allegedly carrying unlicensed firearms and for the close monitoring of the activities of selected taxi operators intending to disrupt transport services in our communities.

“We call on the provincial and municipal law enforcement agencies to act decisively against acts of lawlessness, violence and intimidation by selected taxi operators in Soweto and to ensure that there is safe passage for commuters traveling on public transport routes.”

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