WATCH: Taxi violence talks have failed to make any significant progress, says Mbalula
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Cape Town - The violent rivalry between the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) is far from being resolved, as negotiations to find a solution continue.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the Provincial Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell, said they were affording the associations further opportunity to find each other, and agree on how to resolve the ongoing conflict.
Mbalula and Mitchell, who have been meeting the two associations since Friday, briefed the media on developments regarding the taxi industry in Cape Town this morning.
Mbalula said having noted that the talks between the parties had failed to make significant progress thus far, the government was looking at legal options to safeguard the lives of innocent people who were being killed through taxi violence.
He said in the event such provisions are invoked, the affected parties will be given an opportunity to make representations on any proposed measures including closure of routes and ranks.
Mbalula said in the event the extraordinary measures are invoked, consideration must be given to the deployment of alternative transport for the communities and security thereof.
"In deploying alternative transport in the affected routes, the Provincial Minister is empowered by law to allow other operators to provide services on a temporary basis," said Mbalula.
He said communication with affected communities was a key imperative, particularly on the availability of alternative transport arrangements, including the impact of that as well as the safety of commuters resulting from such operations.
However, Mbalula assured that the mediation process must take its course in order to find a lasting solution to the conflict.
Mitchell said he was disappointed that there has been no resolution reached so far, after extensive meetings with the taxi industry.
He reiterated his stance that the Government can not be expected to compromise on the rule of law and will not allow a criminal element in the industry to hold legal operators and the citizens of the province hostage.
"That is why I am currently applying my mind on whether to close certain routes or ranks, in terms of the Section 91 process. I intend to come to a decision soon," he said.
This meanwhile, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, welcomed a report from the police that there have been no incidents of taxi-related violence overnight.
Fritz said the significant increase in the police and law enforcement presence has brought calm to taxi ranks across the City, with Premier Alan Winde calling for additional SANDF boots on the ground.