Pretoria - The Gauteng department of roads and transport on Wednesday said it had secured a court interdict that prohibits members of the Johannesburg Tembisa Taxi Association (JTTA) and Midrand Taxi Association (MTA) from merging to form the Johannesburg Midrand Taxi Association (JMTA).
The provincial department had approached the court on an urgent basis, seeking to interdict the merger of the taxi associations while also empowering the South African Police Service (SAPS) to take necessary steps to ensure that the associations comply with the court order.
"The court granted an interim order interdicting the associations from operating routes they are not licensed to operate, from instigating, inciting, promoting, or coercing any member of any other taxi association and the general public from committing acts of violence or lawlessness,” said Gauteng MEC for roads and transport Jacob Mamabolo.
He said the court order further interdicts the two associations from holding meetings and operating under the name and style of the newly formed Johannesburg Midrand Taxi Association.
The court further declared the merger of the two associations to be of no force and effect.
"The court order directs that the two associations return to court on 30 August 2022 to give reasons as to why the interim order should not be made a final order,” said Mamabolo.
"We call upon all associations and interested parties to open criminal cases against any member of any association or of the general public who is found to be contravening the court order.”
The two associations had “illegally” merged to form the Johannesburg Midrand Taxi Association without the requisite approval of the Gauteng MEC’s office and before any stakeholder engagement could take place.
The parties intended to merge their respective associations into a single, new taxi association. This would have led to the integration of routes and operations under the guise of the Johannesburg Midrand Taxi Association.
“As the merger posed a threat to peace and security in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, the MEC approached the South Gauteng High Court on an urgent basis, seeking an interdict to stop the associations from illegally encroaching on routes and operating outside of their operators’ licenses, as well as to declare the illegal merger to be null and void,” said Mamabolo.
The controversial merger had left other taxi associations disgruntled.
Authorities said the displeased taxi operators resorted to violence, which led to the loss of two lives, as well as the closure of the R21 highway in the past week.