The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, Mina Lesoma has condemned the alleged manhandling of taxi operators by Cape Town Metro Police after the blockade in the CBD.
Lesoma called out the City of Cape Town’s enforcement agency after videos, which are yet to be verified, were shared across social media platforms of the officers allegedly manhandling and dragging taxi operators during the blockade on Tuesday.
While Lesoma stated the authenticity of the videos has yet to be verified, she said it does appear to be genuine.
“This is an unfortunate incident and those responsible for these actions should be held to account in the same way SAPS assigned to the Deputy President are.
“There is enforcement of law, but the behaviour in the video borders on disrespect and abuse of positions. Law enforcement should avoid a situation where they present to the public opinion as unaccountable rogues and as opponents of the taxi industry,” she said.
Lesoma said all efforts should be geared towards professionalising the taxi service.
“Sadly, what appears on the video goes against all what government stands for, and the vision it has for the taxi industry.
“The democratic government has always voiced its support for the industry and the need to support the industry comprehensively.
“The truth is, South Africa works because the industry is working and affordable,” Lesoma said.
She also stated law enforcement in the City of Cape Town needs to be reminded they are not the law, but work for the law.
Lesoma also said the committee calls for a negotiated resolution to challenges, as disruption and anarchy are unacceptable and detrimental to the development of the taxi industry.
Minibus taxi operators blockaded the CBD after 15 vehicles were impounded by City of Cape Town enforcement agencies for not abiding by the newly amended traffic by-law.
The newly amended by-law means traffic officials can now impound vehicles for transgressions such as not displaying a number plate correctly or not having a valid vehicle licence or driving licence.