Gauteng salutes taxi industry for defending businesses against looting and violence
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Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo on Friday commended the taxi industry in the province for taking “a firm and decisive stance” against acts of rampant looting, destruction of property and criminality.
He said any destruction to commercial sites and shopping malls has a direct negative impact on the taxi industry and the millions of livelihoods it supports.
"It is within this context that we welcome and appreciate the stance taken by the taxi industry to defend their business around malls and commercial sites. We further appreciate that the industry is working with law-enforcement agencies and communities to protect these important sites,” said Mamabolo.
"We also commend various structures in our communities that are working with law enforcement and other agencies of the state, to restore law and order across our province.”
Mamabolo also expressed concern that unrest could revive simmering conflicts between taxi associations over routes during this “difficult” time.
"It is of utmost importance that the industry protects its interests as this will contribute to peace and stability. The unrest, looting and destruction of commercial sites and malls is likely to lead to conflicts and fights for lucrative routes," said Mamabolo.
As violence rocked parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, workers have been struggling to get to their places of employment due to safety concerns and limited access to transport systems.
Mamabolo further commended the taxi industry for its availability to transport commuters, despite the chaos and instability.
“We further commend the leadership of the Gauteng taxi industry for taking a stand as their business and those of others face threat from violent protests. Their stance in protecting lives and property is the most encouraging during this time of untold devastation and despair,” said Mamabolo.
Following a week of unrest and looting, more than 135 suspects have appeared in various courts across Gauteng since Wednesday.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the suspects face charges ranging from public violence, theft, housebreaking, and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, to contravention of the Disaster Management Act.
African News Agency (ANA)