Pretoria � The Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, has published a notice in the provincial gazette indicating his intention to close all affected NANDUWE and WATA taxi ranks and routes in Soweto.
The notice was gazetted in terms of section 91 of the National Land Transport Act.
This extraordinary legal measure follows the dispute and resulting violent conflicts between the two associations, which have been ongoing for months despite all efforts to resolve the matter. The measure will also apply to any joint venture arrangements entered into by the affected associations, the provincial department said on Monday.
In terms of the notice, affected and interested persons are requested to submit their written responses or representations to the notice on or before 3 July 2017.
Depending on the outcome of representations made to MEC Vadi, the affected taxi routes might be closed for public road passenger services for the next month.
If MEC Vadi proceeds with the intended closures, taxi services along the affected routes in Soweto will be suspended from 6 July 2017 until 6 August 2017. During this period, no person shall be allowed to undertake passenger road transport services on the affected routes, the department said.
MEC Vadi said the provincial government cannot tolerate a situation where alleged hitmen have been hired to attack taxi drivers, commuters and taxi operators with impunity.
Our communities are being intimidated by criminal thugs that have infiltrated the taxi industry. I have discussed this matter with my cabinet colleague, MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, and we are clear that the law enforcement agencies will come down hard on those who perpetrate acts of violence in the taxi industry, MEC Vadi said.
Source: South African Government News Agency