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Transport service providers considering suspending services due to taxi violence, says Western Cape transport MEC Daylin Mitchell

Published Mar 24, 2022

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Cape Town - The MEC for transport and public works, Daylin Mitchell states he was aware of the memorandum of grievances related to the taxi industry to be handed over, however, he has condemned the violence which broke out on Thursday.

Mitchell said the taxi industry leadership made commitments that this would be a peaceful protest and operations of other public transport providers would not be disrupted.

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“This commitment has not been honoured by elements within the industry.

“I have received reports of attacks on Golden Arrow buses, of infrastructure being set on fire, and of other damage to private property. I have been informed of injuries to people of this city. This is unacceptable. The Western Cape Government strongly condemns these violent acts,” he said.

Mitchell said while he respects the right of aggrieved parties to protest, violence and destruction weakens the hand of the protesters and undermines the rights of others.

He also stated there are talks of other public transport service providers who are considering suspending their services to protect property, assets and the lives of staff and commuters.

“This will have a severe impact on people travelling to and from work, school and to access services such as healthcare. We cannot afford this while our economy is only starting to show recovery from two very tough years. These senseless acts are putting jobs at risk. They are putting lives at risk,” Mitchell said.

Premier Alan Winde has also voiced his disdain at the violence and disruption and has called for perpetrators of violence to be arrested.

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“I think of the many people who are unable to get to work and put food on the table, as we face the second pandemic of joblessness.

“I also think of the learners who are unable to get to school. We cannot accept these violent acts, and I call on the SAPS to ensure that the law is upheld and that our residents are kept safe. All those responsible for this violence must be arrested and prosecuted,” Winde said.

Mitchell has called on the leadership in the taxi industry to bring its ‘rogue members’ to order and said illegal and criminal acts will not be tolerated.

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“I will use all regulatory and legislative mechanisms to deal with this issue which include suspending or even withdrawing operating licences and holding associations accountable for the actions. I will not stand by and allow a handful of opportunists to hold the commuters of this province hostage,” Mitchell added.

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