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Cape Town - Another taxi driver has been shot dead in the ongoing taxi violence that has erupted in Delft over the past few months. One driver said the situation was “turning our business into gangsterism”.
Police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana said the driver, who has not been named, was waiting at traffic lights on the corner of Symphony and Landsdowne roads at about 2.15pm on Thursday when four men came out from behind shacks and started shooting at the vehicle before running away.
This was the second shooting on Thursday following another incident in the morning where a 60-year-old passenger was wounded in the hip by two men who were shooting from a Toyota Corolla.
The shootings, which have claimed the lives of five other people over the past three months, are linked to a fight over taxi routes between a new taxi association, the Delft Taxi Association (DTA), and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta).
Codeta member Madoda Magau said on Thursday that their taxis operated between Khayelitsha and Delft and had no problems until DTA started operating on the route.
“We have been operating here since 1996 with no problems until DTA members started robbing our drivers and passengers of money and cellphones.”
He said that since the shootings started their drivers had not been able to use Delft Main Road.
“We are scared because this is turning our business into gangsterism. Innocent people are getting shot, kids are afraid to use our taxis to go to school.”
Magau said this has made life difficult for drivers and taxi owners alike because their taxis were standing still in Delft and not making any money.
He said drivers get paid between R500 and R800 a day. “They also receive commission on top of that for the amount of money they bring in, but now they are standing still because we are not operating, they get nothing.”
He said Codeta planned to have a meeting in Khayelitsha where they would decide on a way forward.
Meanwhile, Siphesihle Dube, spokesman for MEC for Transport and Public Works Robin Carlisle, said that the past two weeks had been particularly violent, with Codeta drivers being intimidated by DTA members.
Dube said possible action which could be taken by Carlisle if the situation in Delft does not improve includes closing down relevant taxi ranks or freezing transactions and not allowing implicated associations to apply for or renew operating licences.
Dube said these steps have not yet been mooted.