Cape Town - Philisa Abafazi Bethu bemoaned the recent instability in the public transport sector due to the taxi violence, stating this could put the safety of women at a greater risk.
Advocating for the rights and protection of women and children against violence and abuse, the non-profit organisation expressed concern, saying women were at a greater risk of attacks, assault, rape, and shootings as a result of the violence.
The organisation took to social media to raise the concern and addressed their post to the Presidency and Premier Alan Winde.
“This taxi war has a huge impact on women's safety and women’s lives in this province. Our children start school next week. What is your plan to ensure that women who have to commute daily, can do so safely? When will this happen and when can women, who have to take public transport, feel protected? There is a war on women’s bodies daily in our country, the warlords just change all the time. Why do women have to feel like hostages, daily, in this province and in this country,” read the post.
Meanwhile, the Manenberg Safety Forum chairperson Roegchanda Pascoe said the taxi industry has become an unsafe mode of transportation, specifically for women and children.
“We have seen, over and over again, women being hijacked in minibus taxis, raped, murdered, and then dumped. Not only are our women facing crime and violence within the community with gang-violence, but now even the taxi owners themselves are a part of shooting and maiming. Again, it is women bearing the brunt of everything. Most of our women couldn't go to work because of the danger that comes with it. That means their families are suffering, they are suffering. The impact is so destructive on women and on their livelihoods, their sustainability – it's beyond measure,” said Pascoe.
Hanover Park community policing forum (CPF) member Yaseen Johaar said: “It's really sad to see how many innocent passengers that have supported this industry for years, have been affected.
“Not just by the difficulty of transportation to and from their workplaces, but also directly affected by being harmed, threatened – even being killed, because there are reports of passengers that were murdered,” said Johaar.