File picture: Oupa Mokoena

MTHATHA - Police Minister Bheki Cele is expected to meet the bosses of rival taxi associations in Mthatha.

Cele is in Mthatha for the meeting with Community safety members of executive councils (MEC's) from all nine provinces and will meet with the representatives of both Uncedo Taxi Association and Border Alliance Taxi Association on Friday.

Cele's spokesperson, Nonkululeko Mbatha said the meeting was requested by both taxi associations with Eastern Cape Safety Liaison MEC Weziwe Tirana, who invited Cele. 

After announcing the closure of certain routes on March 28, Cele said he instructed the taxi bosses to negotiate solutions among themselves and invite him when they are ready to end the impasse. 

Uncedo Taxi Association president Ntsikelelo Gaehler said both associations have agreed to call for the meeting with Cele after reaching an agreement about issues which led to Cele's decision to close taxi ranks and routes.

"We have reached an agreement about issues which led to suspension of our services. We agreed to work together at those routes which were the cause of fighting among us," Gaehler said.

"We will also remove the stickers of the taxi associations from our vehicles so they can not be identified.” 

Cele announced the closure of R61 between Mthatha and Port St Johns and the N2 between Mthatha and Tsolo after taxi violence claimed 60 lives and left more than 70 people injured over the period of two years. 

He accused the bosses of the rival taxi associations of the failure to listen after several interventions by Tikana failed to curb the violence.

African News Agency/ANA