The Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, is planning to extend by another three months the closure of five taxi ranks and routes linked to violence, unrest and instability in Soweto.
“I intend to extend the extraordinary measures instituted on 13 July, which are aimed at stabilising public transport services in Soweto, for a further three months, as there is no agreement between the two associations aimed at normalising the situation,” said MEC Vadi on Friday.
The affected taxi ranks and routes were shut down by the MEC due to ongoing violent conflicts between the Witwatersrand African Taxi Association (WATA) and the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (NANDUWE), which negatively affected thousands of commuters.
MEC Vadi said he has not received any assurances from the leadership of the two taxi bodies about restoring peaceful operations in the area.
The MEC has insisted that there be an immediate removal of armed security companies on all taxi routes and ranks allocated to the two associations.
He wants a commitment to end all forms of violence and an agreement to be reached for the two associations to conduct their taxi operations in terms of the provisions and conditions provided for in the operating licenses, until the appeal by WATA is adjudicated by the Transport Appeals Tribunal.
The MEC also insisted that taxi operators affiliated to NANDUWE and WATA put visible stickers that are different from each other to distinguish them for law enforcement purposes.
“The two associations are unable to agree to these conditions, which urgently warrant consideration to extend notice of suspension of minibuses on the affected routes,” said MEC Vadi.