Police Minister Bheki Cele says there was an upsurge in crime in Cape Town during the taxi strike that left five people dead and others injured with cars damaged.
Cele said they had committed more resources to the metro to contain violent taxi protests, and this provided an opportunity for criminals to strike.
The strike by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) lasted eight days, and it ended after the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape provincial government, and the taxi industry reached an agreement.
The taxi association was protesting over the impounding of taxis.
There was a dispute about the interpretation of the laws used by the city to impound taxis after Minister of Transport Sindi Chikunga said the City of Cape Town was using the wrong laws to impound taxis.
But this was disputed by Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and MMC for Safety and Security JP Smith.
Cele, who was briefing the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on police on Wednesday, said there was an upsurge in crime in Cape Town during the period of the strike action by the taxi industry.
The police were stretched to the limit during the strike, as most parts of the city were affected and there were flare ups of violence.
The minister, however, did not give more details, as that would be reflected in the next cycle of crime statistics.
Cabinet approved the calendar for the release of the quarterly crime statistics for the 2023/24 financial year.
In the previous crime statistics released by Cele and SAPS, there was an increase in violent crime, including murders and robberies, across the country.