The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has called on its members to conduct a “peaceful” stay-away.
The taxi mother-body said it condemned all the violent acts.
“It is with great sorrow and regret that we take notice of the violence and destruction of property and the loss of life that occurred over the last few days and this morning (Monday). We are sensitive to public sentiment and do not wish to alienate the public by actions that hurt or injure them,” Santaco said.
It said this perception by the public is being fuelled by protesters and not members of its organisation.
On Sunday, Golden Arrow Bus Service (Gabs) obtained an interdict against the taxi union and its eight affiliated member organisations from intimidating, harassing, threatening, or interfering with its operations, employees and passengers.
Gabs has been bearing the brunt of the taxi violence as a number of its buses have been torched and a driver shot since last week.
“We can assure our members that we are hard at work to resolve any and all disputes with the City of Cape Town. We call on all members to conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner and ensure that their drivers also adhere to the interim interdict granted yesterday (Sunday) August 6, 2023, a copy of which was sent to you.
“As an organisation, we respect the authority of our courts and we expect our members to reflect our values in their conduct.
“As an organisation, we endeavour to self-regulate the industry in conjunction with the City of Cape Town in order to provide safe and effective transport to our patrons,” Santaco said.
Santaco said it condemned all violent acts as well as the continuous disruption of the transport system of the metropole.
It further urged its members to refrain from confrontations with law enforcement officers, transport service providers and the general public as it continues to negotiate with the local government to resolve all disputes.
“We do understand that members are understandably upset by the unlawful actions of certain law enforcement officers that damaged taxis and assaulted some of our members' drivers during the course of last week which in no small part precipitated the stay-away action.
“Nonetheless, be very clear, any violent protests are not sanctioned by this organisation. Peace cannot be obtained through destruction and violence. Any such actions are not helpful to resolve our disputes with the City.
“We ask our members to report any incidents of violence, disruption of public transport services, unlawful blockades, and destruction of property. Should any member be implicated, such member shall face strict disciplinary action,” Santaco said.
It said its legal team was also actively at work to expedite the constitutional challenge of the by-law which is set for a hearing in February 2024.
“Members are reminded that we are a service industry, we are not a terror organisation, and we do not conduct ourselves in such a manner. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends that lost loved ones,” it said.
Last week Santaco embarked on an immediate stay-away by taxi operators across the province until August 10.
A meeting held at the weekend with local government yielded no results.