Taxis impounded, fined for operating on closed B97 route
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Cape Town - Five minibus taxis have been impounded on the closed B97 route for either operating without permit or contravention of permit stipulations.
This is in addition to the five fines ranging from R2 500 to R7 000 imposed on drivers, amounting to R30 500, on Tuesday.
Western Cape police commissioner Thembisile Patekile confirmed this during a media briefing.
“After physical assessment of the situation at transport hubs in Mbekweni, Bellville, Khayelitsha and Nyanga on Monday, July 26, coupled with latest situational reports (July 27) from all identified hot spots within the province, the situation remains relatively calm. No incidents have been reported to the police. However, the integrated deployments are still in place and remain on high alert. We cannot afford to be complacent,” said Patekile.
Police have been conducting vehicle checkpoints (VCPs) and cordon and searches in addition to the static deployments, confiscating three illegal firearms in Delft, Nyanga and Khayelitsha on Monday.
Three suspects appeared in various courts on Tuesday for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
During the briefing, it was announced that the arbitration proceedings between Cata and Codeta restarted on Tuesday as part of the now legal process to resolve the dispute over routes.
The notice for formal proceedings has been sent to the relevant associations following the initiation of a process to sanction or suspend them. This process was initiated on July 7 and the hearings are expected to begin on August 4.
Premier Alan Winde said officials needed to find a solution that allowed all residents to get to work, to health facilities and to school safely.
“We remain fully committed to finding a lasting solution to this impasse, using every power available to us. We will also continue to work with our counterparts across all levels of government to ensure that violence is prevented. We urge residents to report any incidents of extortion or intimidation by these criminals to the SAPS immediately. The SAPS have indicated that they will immediately act, and make arrests.”
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said: “Today is the second day that the B97 minibus taxi route between Mbekweni and Bellville has been closed. It will remain closed for two months in terms of Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act. This action became necessary after concerted efforts to stop violence between operators on the B97 route affiliated to Cata and Codeta failed.”
Additional Golden Arrow bus services have been made available between Paarl and Bellville following the closure of the route.
Metrorail increased running trains on the Northern Line from 14 to 45 units including the Malmesbury and Worcester services.
Metrorail’s shuttle service will offer 15 trips from Wellington to Kraaifontein and the service between Kraaifontein and Cape Town via Monte Vista will operate 26 trips.
“My department will review our current financial agreements with Santaco, and Cata and Codeta in particular have had their funding suspended (previously received via the Blue Dot incentive programme) as a result of the violence associated with these regions,” said Mitchell.