City of Cape Town seeks urgent interdict against taxi strike violence

A MyCiTi bus was stoned in Khayelitsha. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency (ANA)

A MyCiTi bus was stoned in Khayelitsha. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 3, 2023


The City of Cape Town is seeking an urgent interdict against the violence and lawlessness associated with the taxi strike action that began on Thursday afternoon. Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis also condemned these actions.

The City has confirmed violent protests near the Khayelitsha taxi rank. Two law enforcement cars were stoned and two buses were also set alight in Nyanga.

MyCiTi bus passengers were also forced off buses during the afternoon. The N2 outbound was also blocked by slow-moving minibus-taxis.

The South African National African National Taxi Council (Santaco) retracted from engagements with the City and the Western Cape Government last week and due to unfair discriminatory practices towards minibus taxis, Santaco has decided to cease operations immediately until August 10, 2023.

The violent strike actions follow clashes between taxi operators and the City’s traffic officers in the CBD on Tuesday. These clashes saw cars stoned and commuters stranded for hours.

Mayor Hill-Lewis said: “I am concerned that this afternoon’s violence follows Police Minister Bheki Cele’s involvement in industry strike action talks today despite not being constitutionally responsible for transport. That a minister in government responsible for policing, could convene a meeting with the taxi industry that results in a strike call, knowing full well this will lead to violence, is unacceptable.”

Councillor Rob Quintas City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility said “It is regrettable that Santaco has resolved to pull their vehicles from minibus-taxi ranks as of this afternoon.”

Furthermore, Quintas has strongly condemned the events of Thursday afternoon which included endangering human lives and interfering with other vehicles and transports on the road.

The City has refuted the claims that the it is targeting taxi operators.

The City has said, however, that some taxis are unroadworthy, have a history of dangerous traffic violations, and some are linked to criminal investigations.

Some taxi drivers, according to the City, also do not possess a basic driver's license.

“We further understand that Santaco would like the president of South Africa to personally intervene even though they were the ones who withdrew from our talks. We still urge Santaco to return to the negotiations so that we can resolve these issues in a peaceful manner, in the interest of all operators, the industry in general, those employed by the industry, and most importantly, the thousands of commuters who rely on minibus-taxis to get to and from work," said Quintas.

Throughout the stay-away period, the municipality has ensured that it will carefully observe pathways and authorities will carry out routine inspections for the purpose of ensuring the well-being and protection of travellers and the general public.

Individuals who depend on the minibus-taxi sector for their daily commute are recommended to organise alternative transportation or establish plans for remote work whenever feasible in the upcoming six-day period.

“The City is in the process of deploying law enforcement officials to escort MyCiTi buses. Golden Arrow buses also continue to operate but under very high alert and are working closely with law enforcement,” said Quintas.