Western Cape to introduce new tech to identify illegal taxi operators, curb killings
Cape Town - The Western Cape transport and public works department will introduce a marking system and technology solutions to identify illegal minibus taxi operators in a bid to curb the ongoing spate of taxi-related murders in Cape Town and surrounding areas, MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said on Sunday.
Following an increase in minibus taxi-related murders over the past few weeks in Ceres, Bellville, Mbekweni, Nyanga, and other areas, he had called on the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and "mother-bodies", Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and Cape Organisation for the Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta), to reign in their members and identify those elements contributing to crime and violent conflict, Madikizela said in a statement.
Since January 2020, there had been 25 taxi-related murders and 11 cases of attempted murder. These included cases in Mbekweni, Delft, Bellville, Bloekombos, Ceres, and Nyanga. All of the cases involved either Cata and/or Codeta affiliated associations.
Officials from the Western Cape transport and public works department were working closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to identify "the common thread that seems to be running through all of the recent cases of murder and attempted murder", he said.
In discussions between officials from the department and Santaco this week, it was agreed that the department would assist the industry leadership through providing an independent mediator to facilitate talks between Cata and Codeta affiliated groups at the centre of the violence.
"I instructed officials from my department to assist the SAPS and traffic authorities by introducing technology solutions, including a marking system to identify legal operators, so that illegally operating taxis are easily identifiable for enforcement purposes. This follows appeals by legal taxi operators for assistance from enforcement authorities with regards to infiltration by illegal operators onto their already saturated routes and ranks.
"I welcome the intervention by provincial [police] commissioner [Lt-Gen Yolisa] Matakata through making available a dedicated team of detectives to investigate all the recent and historic taxi-related cases and her commitment to bringing the murderers and their enablers to book," Madikizela said.
African News Agency (ANA)