Commission of inquiry to investigate Gauteng taxi woes
On Sunday, Gauteng provincial government spokesperson Thabo Masebe revealed that Makhura had appointed a commission of inquiry headed by the high court Judge Jeremiah Buti Shongwe.
Makhura’s announcement followed a recent spate of violence involving commuter transport in various parts of the province, especially in Soweto.
In March, former Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi placed a three-month ban on taxi operations in Dube, Soweto, following ongoing conflict between members of the Witwatersrand African Taxi Association (Wata) and Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (Nanduwe).
The ban was conditionally lifted in June after the appointment of Jacob Mamabolo as the new MEC for roads and transport.
But according to Masebe, these factions have failed to meet the requirements of the lifting of the ban.
In the last three months, violent clashes between taxi associations played out on the streets of Pretoria over routes to Atteridgeville.
Masebe said Makhura’s appointment of the commission was in terms of Section 127(2)(e) of the Constitution, 1996, and section 2(1) of the Provincial Commissions Act, 1997 (Act No 1 of 1997).
The taxi industry transports more than 75% of commuters during the daily peak-hour period, which makes it the dominant mode of transport used by commuters in the province.
The commission is appointed to investigate, compile findings, report on and make recommendations concerning the underlying reasons for the recurring conflict violence, fatalities and instability within the minibus taxi industry in Gauteng as well as the activities of operators, legal and illegal, and any other group or person that contributes to the recurring conflict.
Also, the commission may, where necessary, refer those implicated to law enforcement agencies for further investigation or prosecution.
Any person or sector of the public - including community organisations, minibus taxi associations, drivers, operators, conductors and rank marshals - that is in possession of information that may be relevant to matters to be enquired into by the commission, and wishes to give evidence before the commission, may do so.
The secretary of the commission will announce the contact details of the commission in due course.