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Cape Town Taxi Associations agree to arbitration to resolve taxi violence

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Parties involved in the conflict by the taxi industry in Cape Town have agreed to arbitration after the initial mediation process collapsed.

In recent months, there has been ongoing violence on route B97 that has resulted in fatalities on the part of operators, drivers and commuters, with concomitant property damaged.   

The root cause of the conflict in the Western Cape stems from disagreement between the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and the Cape Organisation for the Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA). 

In an effort to resolve the matter, government has engaged both CATA and CODETA, as well as the provincial leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) to find a sustainable long-term solution.   

Fikile Mbalula Minister of Transport

In a joint statement on Monday, the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, and Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Daylin Mitchell, outlined the following measures that will be implemented:

–        All legal operating licence holders for routes to and from Mbekweni, except for route B97,  must  commence services,  as  authorised  by  their  operating  licences  or  face  the legal consequences.

–        All  associations  must  instruct  their  members  to  return  to  service  in  line  with  the  authorities issued with their operating licences and must do so in a manner that is safe for the  public.   The  Registrar’s  Office  will  send  out  a  letter  to  all  associations  communicating  this  instruction.   All  routes  will  be  monitored  and  action  will  be  taken  against  associations and individual operating licence holders who are in breach of this instruction.

–        When  route  B97  is  opened,  only  legal  operating  licence  holders  will  be  allowed  to operate and will serve the full route from the authorised ranks and terminals.

–        Affected  municipalities  will  be  requested  to  place  a  moratorium  on  the  issuance  of new  operating  licences  and  applications  for  additional  authorities  on  all  affected  routes whilst also rationalising these services.

–        If  the  affected  municipalities  indicate  the  need  for  additional  services  on  route  B97, operating licences will be apportioned in accordance with the arbitration award.

–        The  Department of Transport will  meet  with  the  appointed  arbitrator  to  expedite  the  arbitration process and to issue an award within the shortest possible timeframe. 

–        The Registrar’s Office will continue with the section 7(A)(20) inquiry to deal with the possible violations of the Code of Conduct and Standard Constitution and to deal with the issue of floor crossing, as well as to determine if the affected associations are still properly constituted  in  terms  of  applicable  legal  prescripts. The  Registrar’s  Office  will  make recommendations  to  the  Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE)  in  respect  of  actions  against  affected  operating  licence holders;

–        Should  there  be  further  acts  of  violence,  all  affected  routes  operated  by  the  two associations  will  be  closed  for  all  minibus-taxi  operations  for  a  period  determined  by  the MEC and affected operating licences will be suspended.  In addition, both associations will be suspended or deregistered by following the prescribed process.  This will be done in the interest  of  public  safety  and  other  operators  will  be  authorised  to  provide  replacement services.

–        Any other associations found to be involved in or promoting violence will similarly be suspended or deregistered by following the prescribed processes.

–        Any  association  that  henceforth  affiliates  to  a  region  or  so-called  ‘mother  body’ outside of its geographical area will be suspended by the Registrar’s Office.

–        Government will request the South African Police Service (SAPS) to open an inquiry in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act to investigate the on-going violence and to prioritise reported cases.

–        Law enforcement capacity and deployment will be reviewed and strengthened in the affected areas.

–        Any  allegations  of  corrupt  activities  or  clear  acts  of  favouritism  on  the  part  of  law enforcement  or  regulatory  officials  will  be  investigated  based  on  evidence  submitted  by complainants. 

–        SAnews

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