Pietermaritzburg - The Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison is planning to meet with the community of Esigodini outside Pietermaritzburg over fears they could be “drawn into” a taxi war in that area.
The clash between the legal and illegal operators has escalated over the past few weeks and has left two people dead and several taxis burned.
Another taxi was set alight this past weekend. The driver had abandoned the vehicle after coming under gunfire from unknown assailants.
Transport, Community Safety and Liaison spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said they were concerned about the situation. “The MEC Mxolisi Kaunda was there last week and has also spoken to the senior police management in province.
“We will be meeting with the community as there are signs that the community is being mobilised to take sides in the matter; there is no need for the community to get involved,” he said.
A senior official at the Santaco (South African National Taxi Council) offices in Pietermaritzburg, who declined to be named, said they were at “their wits end” on how to contain the violence that is threatening to destabilise Pietermaritzburg.
“We have spoken to the department (of Transport Community safety and Liaison), we have spoke to the police and nothing has changed,” he said.