Johannesburg - The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Roads and Transport Portfolio Committee on Friday weighed in on the escalating taxi-related incidents engulfing the province.
Early on Friday, a taxi driver was gunned down and a woman left injured following a shooting at the Roodepoort taxi rank.
Police confirmed that the incident unfolded on Thursday night but were unable to confirm if it was related to taxi violence.
"We don't know what the motive was but we're investigating. No arrests have been made," Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.
Just days defore, four taxi drivers were also killed and six others were injured in a shootout in Brakpan. The bloodbath occurred after drivers, operating under the Greater Brakpan Taxi Association, travelled from Tsakane to Brakpan to meet an executive of the association.
Eight people have since been arrested.
The committee's chairperson Mafika Mgcina in a statement commended steps taken by Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi after the committee expressed concern over the ongoing disputes.
“We commend the action taken by the MEC Ismail Vadi to shut down the Tsakane Taxi Rank until the situation stabilises and for ensuring that an agreement is reached with the taxi operators. We further take comfort in the arrests that have been made by the law enforcement agencies," said Mgcina
"The committee is [also] pleased that there are ongoing talks to resume operations in the taxi rank. This is after the committee expressed concern about the repetitious killings going on in the taxi industry; following a deadly gunfight in Brakpan, in which four people were killed."
Mgcina further said: "The committee is preoccupied on ensuring that the department carries out the recommendations resolved by the portfolio committee in the inquiry report of taxi permits and licenses that was concluded last year.
The purpose of this was to find a lasting solution to the challenges surrounding delays in issuing taxi permits and licences to drivers.
He added that taxi routes and permits were among the top issues which taxi associations were in conflict over, resulting in the death of innocent bystanders.
“As a committee we are continuing with our oversight mandate over the department of roads and transport and we will continue to engage and oversee the implementation of the recommendations as stipulated in the report to curb the taxi industry violence”; concluded Mgcina.
The Gauteng Community Safety department had not responded to queries at the time of publishing.