President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the violence that has been sparked by the taxi strike in Cape Town.
He said violence will not solve the problems facing the City of Cape Town and the taxi industry.
The city and the taxi industry have been at loggerheads for almost a week with businesses affected and some of the people killed and injured.
Ramaphosa, who was addressing Women’s Day celebrations at the Union Buildings on Wednesday, said they were forced to move the event from Cape Town.
This year government was supposed to commemorate Women’s Day in Khayelitsha, but the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture announced that the event was moving to Pretoria because of security concerns.
Ramaphosa called on the municipality and the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco)to engage in dialogue in order to find a solution.
He said violence will not resolve the crisis in Cape Town.
“As we celebrate Women’s Day here at the Union Buildings we are disturbed by the troubling events in the City of Cape Town. This year we were supposed to hold Women’s Day celebration in Khayelitsha in Cape Town, however, we had to move this event to the Union Buildings because of violence associated with the taxi strike in the city. While our democracy protects peaceful protests as well as lawful strike action, we cannot condone what has been happening in Cape Town.
“We strongly condemn the violence and the destruction caused by this dispute. We are appalled by the killings and the assaults that have taken place because women have also been injured in all this,” said Ramaphosa.
He said a number of roads have been blocked to prevent businesses from operating.
He said people are not able to access the services that they require.
Ramaphosa said the rule of law must be upheld and they will not allow the violence to continue.
Minister of Transport Sindi Chikunga was involved in a public spat with city officials over the relevant laws used to impound taxis.
She had ordered the municipality to release all taxis that have been impounded.
But the metro said it would not back down on its stance against impounded taxis.