UDM and Saftu intervene in taxi violence
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Cape Town - There may finally be peace within the taxi industry if recent developments are anything to go by.
Over the past two days, UDM leader General Bantu Holomisa and South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi met fighting taxi associations to help broker an agreement.
The associations have agreed to a ceasefire.
Cata and Codeta detailed their versions of what led to the conflict. They recommended possible solutions. These are laid out in a document that has been sent to Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula and MEC of Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell.
“The negotiations went well,” said Holomisa. “What many do not understand is that minibus taxi issues are not only caused by associations but the government had a hand too on how they handle the issue of permits.”
Shortly after their second meeting ended on Sunday evening, Codeta members came under attack when their car was shot at. No one was injured in the shooting.
“I have to commend them (Codeta) for their maturity in handling the shooting. I told both associations that Chris Hani was killed on the eve of democracy. Now that we are getting somewhere there will be these elements,” Holomisa said.
Cata and Codeta revealed that Mbalula had wanted them to sign peace agreements without ironing out their concerns.
In the document, both associations agree that the Paarl/Mbekweni route is the root cause of the conflict. At the centre of it is the Paarl Alliance that became affiliated to Codeta and started poaching from the Cata Boland Association.
There are questions about why the authorities allowed members to cross from one association to the other with their operating permits.
One of the suggestions is that both associations share routes. There are 27 routes in Mbekweni/Paarl, and Cata is prepared to compromise on 26 routes for one route from Bellville to Mbekweni/Paarl.
If the compromise is not agreed to, Cata has suggested that it operate at 50/50 split with Codeta on the Mbekweni/Paarl and Bellville routes and surroundings.
Codeta has suggested that Cata taxi drivers not load in Paarl. They must drop off commuters and go back to Bellville. Codeta would do the same in Bellville.
One of the long-term solutions recommended was that the government must avoid creating conflict by issuing operating licences for the same route to different taxi associations.
“We have done our part, the minister of police and transport must now do theirs,’ said Holomisa.
”If they accept the document and recommendations, minibus taxis might be back soon.“
The MEC’s office confirmed receipt of the document.