Warring taxis called to order

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga MEC for roads and transport David Mabuza yesterday instructed warring taxi operators in Marapyane to comply with a Pretoria high court order not to foment conflict in the area.

This is after the Pretoria- based taxi association, Central Top 11, applied for a court order to stop Marapyane Taxi Association (Mata) affiliates from preventing them from working in their area.

Hundreds of taxi commuters between Lefiso and Pankop in KwaMhlanga have been left stranded since last Monday following conflict over routes.

Mata affiliates barricaded the main road to Pretoria with burning tyres and brought taxi operations in the area to a halt.

Yesterday, Mabuza visited the troubled area to assess the situation.

Kenny Habyane, chairman of Mata, said the conflict was over the use of the Marapyane-Pretoria route.

He said taxis from Central Top 11, which transport passengers from Pretoria to Marapyane, had breached an agreement reached in 2005.

"The agreement stated that taxis should not transport passengers to villages around Marapyane but should off-load them where local taxis would take them to the villages," said Habyane.

"Central Top 11 has continues to service villages and does not allow Mata members to load passengers in Pretoria."

Habyane said that when Mata taxis transported passengers to Pretoria, they were expected to return to Marapyane empty while Central Top 11 wanted to ferry passengers from Marapyane to Pretoria.

He said they would comply with the court order and also with the orders of MEC Mabuza.

Attempts to reach Joe Rantaung of Central Top 11 were unsuccessful yesterday.