Meeting fails to break taxi deadlock

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell met taxi associations in Brackenfell at the weekend.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s meeting with taxi bosses in Brackenfell at the weekend has failed to defuse ongoing feuding.

Cape Town has been gripped by taxi violence that has left dozens dead and passengers stranded in shootings that have not spared passengers.

Mr Mbalula was locked in meetings with Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta), the South African National Taxi Council, Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell and Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz to find solutions to the impasse.

Previously, Mr Mitchell announced his intentions to close certain routes and ranks should the violence continue.

Mr Mitchell’s spokesperson Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka said efforts to reach a deal were ongoing.

Cata and Codeta had asked for time to consult their members, she said.

The contentious issue is the Paarl-Mbekweni route, seen by both associations as lucrative and strategic.

Ms Makoba-Somdaka said the department would continue to work with law enforcement to prioritise commuters’ safety.

In a statement, Mr Mbalula said: “While we remain concerned about the state of the taxi industry and are attentive to the grievances of operators and drivers, we are resolute (in that) acts of criminality will not be tolerated.”