Matokgo Makutoane
THE Soul City Institute for Social Justice has released a social experiment video to drum up support for the #SafeTaxiNow charter for women following recent attacks on women and children.

The social experiment shows two women walking silently with a hidden camera through taxi ranks in Joburg, including Alex Taxi rank, Wanderers Taxi Rank and Park station, to highlight how women are harassed daily.

Throughout a clip taken from the explicit video, men can be seen making random comments such as “hello baby, hello”.

“A o mphe di-number” (give me your contact number) and “Hawu, why are you walking away?”

Over 150 incidents of harassment were recorded during filming that took 10 hours.

The institute’s advocacy manager, Matokgo Makutoane, said the organisation was consulting with the public, especially women, to come up with a national safe taxis charter to make public transport safe for women.

“The charter is also aimed at highlighting gender-based violence in the country and the unsafe environments women are exposed to, such as taxi ranks,” said Makutoane.

“We want to put pressure on the police and criminal justice system to hold perpetrators to account and treat women’s cases sensitively and seriously,” she said.

Soweto Women’s Forum representative Zukiswa White said last week that the vulnerable lived in a society that did not protect its citizens.

She appealed to the government and community leaders to listen to women’s voices.

“Our spaces are being violated and we become vulnerable,” she said.

White said it was important for the taxi industry to adopt a national safe taxis charter as it was one of the initiatives needed to protect women commuters.