MEC vows to take action against taxi violence
Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli has threatened to shut down taxi operations in Umzinyathi and Ndwedwe, both north of Durban, if taxi-related killings don’t stop.
Ntuli was speaking during the announcement of the provincial turnaround strategy to combat crime following the release of the annual statistics.
Addressing the media at Inanda Police station yesterday, Ntuli said he intended invoking the provisions of Section 91(2) (a) and/or (b) of the National Land Transport Act.
The two areas have been at the centre of taxi-related killings, including suspects that shot at taxis full of passengers and injuring them.
“This notice declares our intention to shut-down the operations in the area, should there be further incidents of violence and killings. I have met with Minister Bheki Cele and the provincial SAPS team to ensure that police work with other agencies in developing a comprehensive safety strategy, thus maintaining a heavy presence along the route,” said Ntuli.
He said alternative measures would be put in place for commuters should routes be closed down.
“Alternative transport will be there. We have a number of mainline contractors which will be used. That also comes with a strain, but we have agreed with all the law enforcement agencies to secure the buses that would be used.”
Ntuli said this year alone, there had been eight taxi-related murders and 20 cases of attempted murders due to ongoing violence, unrest and instability in the area.
The fatalities include three commuters, three taxi drivers, one taxi owner and one rank manager.