Crackdown to impound unroadworthy taxis, confiscate guns

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

In a crackdown to restore peace in the taxi industry, the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport, community safety and liaison, has impounded 237 minibuses and confiscated 16 firearms.

Commuters were left stranded on Monday night after a joint operation between the public enforcement unit, Metro police and members of the SAPS public order and the national intervention units.

The 16 confiscated firearms were taken in for ballistic testing.

About 219 taxi operators were charged for not having rank permits, 14 motor vehicles were found to be unlicensed while eight minibuses were suspended for being unroadworthy.

A further three taxis had illegal permits while three drivers did not have professional driving permits.

Transport, community safety and liaison MEC Bheki Cele yesterday praised the police.

He said the intensified operation was in response to the ongoing taxi violence between the Chesterville and Cato Manor taxi associations that had resulted in many people losing their lives.

"We will continue with our law enforcement efforts," Cele said.

"We will continue to put away law breakers and remove unroadworthy vehicles to ensure that public transport is safe, comfortable and efficient.

"We will also maintain peace and order in the industry and among taxi operators," he said.

The dispute between the Chesterville and the Cato Manor taxi associations over routes and fares has been going on for months and has claimed the lives of several members from both associations. Commuters have also lost their lives.

Police are monitoring the routes and areas involved.