Langelihle Chagwe and Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi
Eighty-one taxis belonging to various associations were impounded in a huge operation around Johannesburg yesterday.
This has brought the number of seized taxis to 133 since the Gauteng department of community safety and liaison started a special operation in Soweto at the weekend.
The operation has angered taxi operators because they said they were using their legally allocated routes but their vehicles were still seized.
Department spokesman Dumisani Ngema said the aim of the operation was to clamp down on route encroachment, which contributed to Gauteng's taxi violence. The violence has claimed five lives in two weeks.
The taxis, which were impounded under a heavy police presence, were sent to the government pound in Industria.
"All the taxis impounded were operating in unallocated routes. The operation was conducted at Hendrik Potgieter, Christian de Wet and Beyers Naude roads," said Ngema.
"The seized taxis would be released on payment of a R1500 fine for each taxi," said Ngema.
"But the operators should produce a permit, certificate of registration and proof of payment of the admission of guilt fine.
"The taxis will not be released without the documents."