Appeal to Cata and Codeta ’to silence their guns for the sake of lives’ in taxi war
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Cape Town - Only “hired guns” (inkabi or hitmen) are benefiting from the ongoing taxi violence in the city, says the Cape Metro Development Council (CDMC), which represents more than 25 development forums.
They said genuine taxi operators and business people could only benefit from a taxi business run in an environment of peace and stability.
The tensions between Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) have claimed more than 80 lives since the start of the year and this week left commuters in the lurch as no agreement has been reached.
The two taxi associations have been in conflict over the B97 Paarl-Mbekweni route on which many, including commuters, have been shot dead and others wounded.
Even Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s visit to the province on the weekend did not yield positive results.
The council said on Tuesday called Cata and Codeta “to silence their guns for the sake of lives.”
“We call on the two associations to co-operate with our local development forums in Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Langa and Philippi in their meetings planned to take place on Wednesday 21 July 2021. These meetings are a genuine community endeavour in advancing the call for a cessation of all hostilities by the two associations.
“We also call on all employers and employer representative organisations to talk to their members to stop their predatory harassment of workers to come work even if they are unable to due to the ongoing taxi violence,” said the council’s convenor Ndithini Tyhido.
The council gave Codeta and Cata until Friday to denounce all acts of violence and commit themselves to a mutually beneficial, meaningful and genuine negotiated settlement of whatever dispute they may have or face a 90-day boycott on taxis.
Meanwhile, safety and security Mayco member JP Smith said the situation continued to cause tremendous hardship and anxiety among law-abiding citizens, many of whom are directly affected as they have no means to get to and from work.
“In the last few days, our staff have made five arrests pertaining to the violence and recovered as many firearms. Our Traffic Service has confiscated 44 taxis for operating illegally or in contravention of their operating permits in the last week. The figure is lower than usual, as many taxi operators have suspended their services. However, our efforts in this regard have been ongoing, with 6 688 public transport vehicles impounded in the last financial year.”
Metro Police and Law Enforcement staff escorted buses to ensure that commuters got home safely on Monday night.
“The City further calls on the provincial and national government to amend the relevant legislation to address the underlying drivers of the violence,” said Smith.