By Dr Neil Campbell MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport:
The DA welcomes the arrest of five suspects following the fatal shooting of a 45-year old woman at the Sangweni taxi rank in Tembisa on Tuesday.
It is believed the incident was in connection with an ongoing war between rival taxi associations, allegedly over routes.
The DA is highly concerned over the effect of taxi violence on Gauteng’s people.
In the absence of other transport alternatives, hundreds of thousands of commuters use minibus taxis to get to work and go about their business every day – and should be able to do so without fearing for their lives.
While the swift police response following this incident is commendable, the DA believes that increased police presence and action alone will not address the core issues at play.
Disputes and violence between taxi operators over routes arise when operators without the required route permits poach passengers along the routes of others.
Preventing this requires a proactive approach from both the departments of community safety and roads and transport, by increasing law enforcement along taxi routes, and to immediately impound operators without valid permits.
Disputes over routes are easier solved at the negotiating table and through proactive government action, instead of trying to crisis manage incidence of violence whenever they flare up.
To this end the DA will engage with both transport MEC Ismael Vadi and his counterpart in community safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane to increase cooperation between their departments and to act against illegal taxi operators.
Gauteng’s commuters need safe and affordable transport to go about their daily business, and the DA will continue to act in their interests and hose for a safer province.