The South African National Taxi Council’s (Santaco) urgent interdict application will be heard at the Western Cape High Court on Thursday afternoon following days of disagreements relating to taxi impoundments.
The taxi industry has turned to the court to force the City of Cape Town and the provincial mobility department to abide by the terms of an August 10 agreement that ended an eight day long taxi stay away.
Respondents in the court action include the City, the mobility department and Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga.
Santaco filed the application on Wednesday after City traffic officers seized 14 minibus taxis, eight on Friday and six on Saturday.
The City defended their action, saying it was done within the terms of their agreement and that only one of the impounded taxis was later released because the offence was not listed as a violation that warrants impounding.
In an affidavit by Santaco’s Nceba Enge, the association was only prepared to agree to the impounding of minibus taxis in respect of transgressions including driving without an operating license, a vehicle that is not in a roadworthy condition,or deemed to be so defective as to be a danger to persons or property and operating without a valid driver’s license or professional driving permit.
Enge said there had been a breach of the terms of the settlement agreement.
“Law Enforcement are acting in breach of their very own code of conduct and enforcing the laws on an arbitrary basis. This mala fide and unlawful conduct can quite easily cause an irreparable rift between the parties, should such conduct not be stopped forthwith. The fragile peace should be protected at all costs. The Respondents are acting contrary to the settlement agreement and should be stopped from doing so lest we face another crisis.
“The respondents seem to be very lackadaisical in implementing the terms of the agreement, in addition, has fomented discontent by their actions and pronouncements in the media,” said Enge.
In a joint statement, the Western Cape Government and City said they welcomed the opportunity to make the terms of the agreement an order of the High Court.
“This will put an end to misinformation about the exact terms agreed to between the City, the Western Cape Government, and Santaco, and will lessen the potential for conflict between taxi operators and officers on the road.”
“It must be reiterated that this entire agreement hinges on the prevention of taxi-related violence. Any revival of such violence will nullify the agreement.”
This is a developing story.