There has been a spike in the killing of taxi operators in areas north of Durban recently. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN - There has been a spike in the killing of taxi operators in areas north of Durban recently.

This is according to the KwaZulu-­Natal chairman of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), Boy Zondi.

Zondi was commenting after the murder of taxi owner Neil Jainarian, who was killed while driving his son and two other children to school in Verulam on Wednesday.

Zondi said it had noted that in a short space of time seven people, including Jainarian, had been killed.

“It is concerning because for a very long time it has been quiet, and all of a sudden it is coming back again,” said Zondi. “However, it is not that widespread when you consider that we have 243 taxi associations and about 30000 taxi operators in KZN. But we are totally against the killing of any taxi operator.”

Zondi added that Santaco was concerned about the poor arrest rate for these murders.

“We are always encouraging people who have information that can lead to the arrests of these perpetrators to please come forward and help the police with these killings,” he said.

The KZN Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison condemned Jainarian’s murder.

Spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the department was working to understand the root cause of the recent murder and other incidents that had occurred.

“There are a number of interventions including the deployment of Special Operations (Shanela) and an SAPS taxi task team,” said Ncalane.

He added that the reasons for the murders included contested routes, and said that once the routes were no longer profitable it was bound to create tensions.

“Another main issue is the proliferation of illegal operators who want to hijack routes from legal operators.”

Santaco conveyed its condolences to Jainarian’s family.