‘Cape taxi war a race issue’

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IOL Dan Plato don CAPE ARGUS Community Safety MEC Dan Plato tries to allay the concerns of Vrygrond residents about growing taxi violence in the area. Photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town - More police may help to curb taxi violence that has been plaguing Vrygrond, Retreat and Steenberg since January.

So says Dan Plato, MEC for Community Safety, who was addressing residents at the Capricorn Primary School in Vrygrond on Sunday.

At least six people died in violence that erupted between the Retreat and Vrygrond taxi associations last week.

Plato said meetings with community leaders and police had led to a plan for increased visible policing on the routes. “It is imperative that we find the root of the issue soon and show the community that there is an end in sight. Our transportation routes need to be sorted out.”

Residents Plato addressed on Sunday included Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members, who said the provincial government was not doing enough to quell the violence.

Shaun August, councillor for ward 67, which includes Vrygrond, said taxi violence was a race issue.

He said there was animosity between coloured drivers from Retreat and black drivers from Vrygrond.

“Retreat taxi drivers have got permits for the routes in the area, but the problem is those from Vrygrond are not allowing them to pick up in the area, which has caused a lot of tension.”

Vrygrond resident Mbulelo Dwane, 32, said race was not an issue and that it was gangsterism taking a new form in the area.

“I don’t agree that it is a racial issue. Blacks and coloureds all live together here. It is gangs from the two main areas that are fighting each other and are using taxis as a cover.”

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Cape Argus

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