File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Over the past two months, officers have arrested 3 336 taxi drivers with 13 568 outstanding warrants between them that were valued at just over R31 million.

In one of the latest incidents last week, officers conducted a warrant operation and stopped a minibus taxi on Jakes Gerwel Drive.

They had recognised the driver as a person who had run away from one of their vehicle checkpoints last year, and on further investigation found that the 24-year-old man had 43 outstanding warrants to the value of R111 600.

The suspect was arrested and taken to Parow police station.

A fingerprint scan revealed that he was also wanted for a reckless/negligent driving case in Woodstock.

In separate incidents two other taxi drivers were also arrested later that evening - a 33-year-old suspect with 27 warrants, and a 30-year-old driver with 20 outstanding warrants to the value of R46 500.

On July 16, officers arrested four taxi drivers during an operation on the N2, with a total of 100 outstanding warrants to the value of R184 000.

Since May, 919 minibus taxis have been impounded - either because the driver did not have an operating licence, or because he was contravening the licence conditions.

The City said that on average, minibus taxis remained in the pound for four days, with the longest period being 49 days.

Since the launch of the taxi blitz, one minibus taxi has been impounded three times in the space of three-and-a-half weeks.

“Based on our impoundment/release fee structure, the driver or owner of this vehicle forked out a total of R32 000 to get the vehicle back.

"When next it gets impounded, he will be hit with another hefty impoundment release fee, but clearly, the money is not an issue.

"This is why we have continuously advocated for permanent impoundments,” said Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith.

The City’s Operation Reclaim has also been stepped up to track down warrant "scofflaws", and a series of taxi blitz operations have been in play since May 22, which sees the Traffic Service - supported by the Law Enforcement and Metro police departments - focus on transgressions in hot spot areas.