Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, today published Regulations in the Provincial Gazette instituting “extraordinary measures” in declared areas characterised by violence, unrest or instability relating to the on-going conflict between the Witwatersrand African Taxi Owners Association (WATA) and Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (NANDUWE).
“Practically, what this means is that specific taxi ranks and routes in Soweto will be shut down from Friday morning, 15 March, for a period of three months, until 15 June this year,” said Vadi.
“This closure of these taxi ranks/routes arises from the on-going conflict and violence between members of WATA and NANDUWE. It is necessary to shut down their minibus taxi services for the safety of commuters and residents of Soweto,” said Vadi.
In his media statement, Vadi cited various reported cases of violence, intimidation and damage to property since January this year. The specific cases are as follows:
- Jabulani Cas 189-01-2019 (murder, 19 January 2019);
- Naledi CAS 154-01-2019 (murder, 21 January 2019);
- Jabulani CAS 295-01-2019 (double murders, 29 January 2019);
- Orlando CAS 276-02-2019 (malicious damage to property – minibus taxi, 23 February 2019);
- Diepkloof CAS 392-02-2019 (malicious damage to property – minibus taxi, 24 February 2019);
- Diepkloof CAS 393-02-2019 (malicious damage to property, minibus taxi, 24 February 2019);
- Diepkloof CAS 391-02-2019 (malicious damage to property, minibus taxi, 24 February 2019);
- Diepkloof CAS 411-02-2019 (malicious damage to property, burning of minibus taxi, 24 February 2019);
- Orlando CAS 266/02/2019 (murder); and
- Orlando CAS 90/03/2019 (public violence, 6 persons shot and 7 vehicles damaged, with one vehicle being burnt, 5 March 2019).
Furthermore, on 11 March 2019, about 300 drivers purportedly linked to WATA and NANDUWE unlawfully blockaded with their vehicles the Johannesburg CBD, thereby creating a gridlock and disruption of traffic in the city centre for several hours.
In terms of the published Regulations No.80 (Volume 25), no person is allowed to operate minibus taxi services along the specified ranks and routes in Soweto.
This means that these routes and ranks will be shut down for minibus taxi services from the morning of 15 March 2019 until 15 June 2019.
The specific ranks and routes to be closed are:
- Makhetha Stores – Central Western Jabavu John Page Drive and Main Street Jeppe Station Taxi Ranks. From Mphuthi and Limakatso Streets continue towards Elias Motsoaledi into Machaba Drive, turn right into Nxumalo Street to Dube Station Taxi Rank, turn into Ncube Drive, turn left into Mahalefela Road proceed to Pela Street then becomes Khumalo Street
- Mofolo Sizwe Stores Taxi Rank John Page Drive and Main Street, Jeppe Station Taxi Rank From Mphuthi Street (c/o Mphuthi Street and Banda St), continue Machaba Drive, continue Mwasi Street, Turn right Mzilikatse Street, Turn left Mncube drive, Turn right Mtipa Street, continue Sobuza Street, Turn Right Butshingi Street, Turn left Mtipa Street, Turn right Kumalo main road, continue Sofasonke Street, Turn left Mooki Street, Turn right Soweto Highway, continue Pat Mbatha Bus and Taxi Way, continue Pat Mbatha Bus Way, continue Busway, continue Bezuidenhout Street, Turn right Market Street, continue Interchange, continue Commissioner Street, Turn right John Page Drive, end (c/o John Page Drive and Main St)
- Kwa-Mthetwa Stores (Machaba and Nxumalo Streets) – Mofolo John Page Drive and Main Street, Jeppe Station Taxi Rank From Mthetwa Stores (corner of Machaba Drive and Nxumalo Street) turn left into Nxumalo Street, proceed to Dube Station Rank and turn right into Ncube Drive, turn left into Mahalefela Road, proceed to Pela main Road, then Pela becomes Khumalo Street proceed over Klip Valley Road to Sofasonke Street
- Dube Station Taxi Rank John Page Drive and Main Street, Jeppe Station Taxi Rank Street From Dube Station Taxi Rank (Leselinyane Street and Ncube Drive) proceed to Mahalefela Road, turn left into Mahalefela Road, proceed to Pela Main Road, then it becomes Khumalo Street, proceed over Klip Valley Road to Sofasonke Street
- Makhetha Garage (Pela and Mahalefela Road) John Page Drive and Main Street, Jeppe Station Taxi Rank From Makhetha Garage (Pela Main Road) proceed to Khumalo Road and proceed over Klip Valley Road to Sofasonke Street
- Uncle Tom’s Hall (Orlando West) John Page Drive and Main Street, Jeppe Station Taxi Rank From Uncle Tom’s Hall in Khumalo Street proceed over Klip Valley Road to Sofasonke Street.
A person is guilty of an offence if he/she operates minibus taxi services in contravention of the Regulation.
Where a person is convicted of contravening regulation, a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding R25 000.00 may be imposed.