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Warring taxi factions in KwaDukuza on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal have struck a peace deal to end a 20-year feud that has claimed more than 30 lives.
The Maphumulo and Stanger taxi associations have been at war over taxi routes, but on Friday they formed the Ilembe Taxi Association. The formal signing ceremony will take place on June 15.
Willie Mbhense, KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance spokesman, said the move was a positive one for the taxi industry.
"It is a great achievement for the industry. We have lost many lives in this violence. Our industry will be peaceful. Passengers can travel safely. We need to celebrate this move."
He said it was through the efforts of Mandla Gcaba from the Durban Long-Distance Association and Eugene Radebe of his organisation that the conflict had ended.
Bongani Mkhize of the Maphumulo Taxi Association said he was pleased with the outcome. "We have agreed to work together. And this will bear fruit after the official signing on June 15. We want to put an end to our differences and work for prosperity," he said.
Nkosinathi Khanyile of the Stanger Taxi Association said this was a great achievement. "We will work as one association - Ilembe."
Nonkululeko Mbatha of the provincial Department of Transport hailed the move.
"We must applaud the fact that the two rival bodies have resolved to work together."