Paarl, Bellville taxi route closure extended
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Cape Town: The closure of the taxi route between Paarl and Bellville has been extended for a further three months, starting from tomorrow.
The announcement to extend the closure was made by the MEC of Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell, who said a decision was taken after a concerted efforts to stop violence between operators affiliated to Cata and Codeta failed.
“Due to incessant incidents of violence, damage to property and a loss of lives post-2017, emanating from route-related conflict on route B97, I published a notice in terms of section 91 of the National Land Transport Act (Act no.5 of 2009) setting out proposed actions to stabilise the situation. The proposed actions were set out under Notice 416 of 2021 in Government Gazette 44836 dated 9 July 2021,” he said.
The actions included the closure of route B97, the suspension of affected operating licences, the closure of all ranks in the Mbekweni area and the closure of certain loading lanes at the Bellville Public Transport Interchange.
He said the decisions were taken after efforts by regulatory stakeholders to resolve the impasse between the affected parties had been unsuccessful.
The violence had continued and more lives were lost.
“These interventions included, inter-alia, several mediation efforts, peace conferences, a pre-arbitration agreement in which both agreed to refer the matter to arbitration and to abide by the outcome thereof and a ceasefire agreement,” he said.
Mitchell said shots were also fired at law enforcement officers during violent protest action. Protesters demanded that the route be opened for taxi operations.
The parties have rejected the option of signing a “bridging agreement” in order for the route to be reopened.
Cata spokesperson Mandla Hermanus said the rank would remain closed while arbitration continued.
“It makes sense to us for it to be closed since we don’t know who has the right to operate the route, so we don’t go back to the conflict,” he said.
Codeta spokesperson Andile Khanyi said they haven’t heard anything about the extension.
“Mitchell is not coming with a solution. He must fine those who don’t have the rights to operate the route in order to protect those that do have, and they should not have given permits to different associations,” said Khanyi.