Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Operation Thulamsindo - an initiative aimed at ending violence and managing conflict in the taxi industry - is slowly registering success.

A report received by the Gauteng council from the departments of community safety and public transport, roads and works indicates this.

So far the operation has investigated 158 cases, with 90 people being charged . One perpetrator was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

The charges faced by those arrested ranged from murder and attempted murder to assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

In a bid to help reduce conflict and normalise the taxi industry, the government will take over the functions of monitoring, patrolling and managing taxi ranks and routes.

CCTV cameras will also be installed at taxi ranks.

This follows incidents in which women were assaulted by taxi drivers for wearing miniskirts at the Noord Street taxi rank in Johannesburg.

"These functions, currently performed by taxi associations, will now be handled by independent patrols and monitoring teams drawn from the integrated safety and security system," acting Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile said.

"The current marshals, patrol squads and operating committees and rank managers will be withdrawn and trained in customer care, life skills, peace and security."

On completion of their training they will be redeployed to work under the supervision of the independent patrol and monitoring teams.

The operation has been boosted by the establishment of a dedicated team of investigating officers from South African Police Service to investigate violence in the taxi industry.