MEC sets up task team to probe dubious taxi permits

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

The Limpopo public transport and roads department has set up a special task team to investigate the illegal issuing of taxi and bus operating permits, which has triggered violence over routes in the Tzaneen area.

Provincial MEC Justice Pitso said this during a meeting with taxi and bus associations in Tzaneen at the weekend.

The meeting was convened by the department in conjunction with the Greater Tzaneen municipality to resolve tensions between taxi associations and bus operators.

Pitso told the associations that the task team would report its findings to him within the next two weeks.

He said those found in possession of fraudulent operating permits would face the full might of the law.

In a tense meeting attended by about 50 delegates from the taxi associations and bus operators, both parties accused each other of corruption and abuse of permits.

They accused each other of not sticking to their stipulated routes as provided for in their permits.

Members of the Gauteng-Tzaneen taxi associations accused bus operators of poaching their passengers.

Some of the taxi operators said they used to work together peacefully until the bus owners decided to operate beyond the stipulated time as agreed.

South African Bus Operators spokesman Eric Cornelius denied allegations made by the taxi operators, saying the taxi operators where the ones who started the violence.

Greater Tzaneen municipal mayor Othaniel Mushwana also slammed bus operators for failing to abide by the rules and regulations prescribed by their permits.

"We are disturbed because bus operators are the ones triggering violence because they do not comply with the operating time stipulated in their permits," he said.

He explained that buses must start loading early so that by 7.15am, they will be around the Haenertzburg area.

He said bus operators had, however, failed to abide by the stipulated time for some months now.