Police escorts required as rival taxi associations square up in Khayelitsha
Cape Town - Hundreds of taxis blocked the busy Mew Way bridge in Khayelitsha on Tuesday in a tense stand-off between the Congress for Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) and the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata).
Codeta taxis had to be escorted by police back to the Khayelitsha taxi rank as they could not load at Bellville.
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said that Codeta drivers had removed their vehicles from the line a few weeks ago and were loading on a field close to the rank.
Spokesperson Gershon Geyer said: “They were asked by police and law enforcement to move back to (the) rank but refused, saying they didn’t feel safe to do so.
“They removed the vehicles and were escorted by the police back to Khayelitsha. The standoff is still related to the Paarl/Bellville issue that is not yet sorted.”
Earlier this month, Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela held meetings with Cata and Codeta leadership to engage with them on recent taxi-related violence and murders that involved their members and affiliates.
Taxi associations affiliated to the two mother-bodies have been involved in tit-for-tat attacks and hits on rivals as they vie for control over taxi routes and ranks throughout the Western Cape, including current “hotspots” in Bellville, Mbekweni, Hout Bay, Masiphumelele, Ceres and other areas.
Codeta spokesperson Besuthu Ndungane said the intimidation tactics between associations needed to end and that the government should intervene.
“This has resulted in commuters being stranded. It needs to be dealt with because no one has the right to intimidate any taxi operators,” he said.
Madikizela had previously warned of the possible closure of taxi ranks and routes if any violence was reported.
Geyer said he hoped that the MEC would be back today and intercede and hopefully find solutions to the issues.
Madikizela did not respond to questions.