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Squash taxi violence now

By Sowetan Editorial | Feb 02, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 27 ]

TAXI violence, it seems, is again resurfacing; it has to be stopped.

Akin to a low-intensity civil war, taxi bosses have been dying over time and just this week an umpteenth life was lost.

This obviously calls for quick, decisive action from the police before more lives are lost.

Yesterday taxi commuters had to run for cover when unknown men opened fire on a member of a rival association during a drive-by shooting.

We have seen in the past that when something like this happens it sparks more incidents - with members of the associations involved going all out to take revenge on their enemies.

Also, when skirmishes erupt, the wars spread to other areas, particularly those that have their routes connecting to the major ranks in the major centres. We have in the past seen this happening on routes leading to KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

Violence will continue unabated if the authorities do not take steps to regulate the taxi industry.

The government has allowed this industry to become saturated by giving out permits almost willy-nilly, leading to a free-for-all on routes around the country.

It is also the absence of harsh penalties for those who break the law on the roads that has led to operators opening new, illegal taxi ranks anywhere they wish.

It is not difficult to regulate the taxi industry and to police it closely. Associations must be punished heavily, or have their routes closed when their members misbehave, or are found to have started the violence.

Taxi operators have in the past displayed their arrogance by blocking freeways and pointing firearms, or even shooting at law-enforcement officers.

A case in point, highlighting their arrogance, was when they opposed the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport system and shot at buses and passengers.

The government has in the past proposed measures such as the recapitalisation programme, the crushing of un-roadworthy taxis, and the issuing of permits that restrict operators to particular routes.

No one knows why the government is taking years to implement programmes to control the situation and save lives.

The South African National Taxi Council's Philip Taaibosch has also called for the industry to be regulated and warned that violence would otherwise continue. He has said the issue was raised with the Transport Department several times before.

This clearly shows there are those in the industry who are willing to work with the authorities to curb taxi wars. So, what is the government waiting for?

A bloodbath?

COMMENTS [ 27 ]

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I feel pity for ppl who use Taxi's.
Try and buy a car - even if it's a small one just to take u from point a to b (to work) - otherwise tr*y getting a lift club. Taxi's are not gud.
Norrd and Bree Taxi ranks are hell - i wonder how ppl survive there - go nkga moroto, mahwafa le marago feela. That place is not for humans.

Feb 02, 2012 12:40 | 0 replies

"Yesterday taxi commuters had to run for cover when unknown men opened fire on a member of a rival association during a drive-by shooting."

Sowetan you are the ppl fueling this taxi violence! How do you know if this "UNKNOWN MEN" are from a rival taxi association?

Feb 02, 2012 1:14 | 0 replies

@SeshegoGuY
Just waiting for the Tribalist comments------- We really hat.e each other here in Mzansi
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It's all Zulus doing!!!!!! Hahahahahahah

Feb 02, 2012 1:35 | 0 replies

@SeshegoGuY

WHO'S TRIBALIST COMMENTS ARE U WAITING FOR...FOETSEK...

Feb 02, 2012 1:43 | 0 replies

As they did Oliven taxi rank to Centurion late last year, close it. That is the only language they will understand when when they start losing money.
Big ups to the council for coming handy with buses and thank you to the police for patrolling. Right now, Oliven taxi owners are wondering what hit them as no one get on their taxi and prefer buses that are slighlty more expensive but safe.
i also prefer being on the road with the bus than a taxi that perpetually hoots, stops anywhere and driver swearing.

Feb 02, 2012 1:50 | 0 replies

The taxi association should implement a rule to taxi owners that: THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO BE A TAXI DRIVER IS AN ID BOOK AND MATRIC. This may seem odd but, it will definitely help in the long run cause the taxi industry is bunched of uneducated young men who dropout at schools and see the taxi industry as a means of survival.
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In turn what do these young men do? They have no moral values and absolutely no respect for the passengers, even worse they are the bad drivers on the roads. They start of as conductors at the age of 12-16( school dropout), then they strive their way up to be taxi drivers- without any proper education or good moral values - but they are nourished with rude and disrespectful behavior by the same people who started of as conductors at the age of 12 years.
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I have seen a lot of educated taxi drivers and they conduct themselves in a good manner, they are far beyond than the school dropout. To have educated taxi drives will prevent all this killing of people for stupid reasons instead of that, they will all put their issues on the table and come up with a benefit all solution.

Feb 02, 2012 1:55 | 0 replies

there are a lot of taxi owners in government and the security agencies so if it benefits them they wont intervene..the only time they will act is when their interests are in threat.

Feb 02, 2012 1:59 | 0 replies

@MabhebezaEC2
@SeshegoGuY
Just waiting for the Tribalist comments------- We really hat.e each other here in Mzansi
___________________________________________
It's all Zulus doing!!!!!! Hahahahahahah
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O TLO N.YELA. MABHEBEZA EASTERN CAPE

Feb 02, 2012 2:29 | 0 replies

ijo bathong nna taxi ke e tshaba lefu ha o sa tellwe ke driver o tellwa ke passenger, o mpone taxing o mpolaye

Feb 02, 2012 2:44 | 0 replies

@mosquer

an thats your granny ...o sa le gona?

Feb 02, 2012 2:59 | 0 replies

Philharry

"When you know better, you do better' - dunno who said that but I can see your point.

I think some of it has to do with what the passengers themselves are willing to put up with too.

Feb 02, 2012 3:30 | 0 replies