Row over routes again

Israel Nkate

Israel Nkate

Two rival taxi associations in the impoverished town of Moses Kotane near Rustenburg are again at loggerheads over routes.

Chaos erupted on Thursday morning at Mogwase taxi rank when fighting broke out between Moruleng and Mogwase taxi associations.

"This conflict has been going on for some years. It was stopped in 2002. By then there were only two operating licenses allowing Mogwase taxis to operate on our route. We were willing to work with them. Every weekend we contributed R50 for the maintenance of the rank. They said they were uncomfortable with that and left," said Speelman Makiti, Moruleng Taxi Association spokesman.

Makiti said Mogwase operated many routes.

"They operate in Mogwase, Sun City, Ledig, Bodirelo, Rustenburg and Mabeskraal. We only operate Moruleng, Rustenburg, Northam and Swaartklip," Makiti said.

Willy Moroane, spokesman for Mogwase, said this was not true.

"The first time we tried to work with them, they bullied us. We were beaten and had to stop our operations. In a meeting we held with Moruleng representatives on Tuesday, we suggested that we operate on the kamina-ka-wena system, meaning to alternate in loading passengers on the Moruleng-Mogwase route. The Moruleng association refused and wanted to operate on this route alone," Moroane said.

Moroane said: "We have obtained 33 licences from the Mafikeng permit board that allow us to operate on the Mogwase-Moruleng route.

"In our meeting on Tuesday it was also announced that we would start operating the Moruleng-Mogwase route on Thursday. We sent our taxis and some drivers to Moruleng rank. On arrival they were assaulted."

Charles Seikanelo, senior commissioner at Mogwase police station said members of Mogwase Taxi Association had opened a case of assault.