Bosses call for probe into taxi and bus violence

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Taxi bosses in KwaZulu-Natal have called for an independent commission of inquiry into the ongoing taxi and bus-related conflicts in the province.

The call was made by KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance chairman Eugene Hadebe, who was commenting after two buses were petrol-bombed outside Durban this week.

In the first attack in KwaMashu on Wednesday, attackers doused petrol over commuters before setting the bus alight.

The driver was held at gunpoint and threatened by the attackers.

In another attack a bus was petrol-bombed outside Inanda. The passengers in both attacks were unharmed.

Elsewhere in the province conflicts in the taxi industry over routes are continuing.

Hadebe said the conflict between bus and taxi operators and within the taxi industry "can only be resolved by the industry and not government".

"Government does not understand what is happening on the ground. It is the operators who know what is happening," Hadebe said.

"Government should listen to the operators, not tell them what to do."

He said the conflict between bus and taxi operators called for "better communication between bus companies and taxi operators" in the affected areas.

Hadebe also called for an overhaul in the government's system. "We need an independent investigation free of political or government interference."

He said any intervention by the government would be suspect as there were allegations of corruption and that some government officials had links in the industry.

Metro police officers and members of the SAPS yesterday patrolled the affected areas.

The community of Lindelani in KwaMashu will meet on Sunday to discuss the conflict.

Councillor Dumisani Mabizela said the community was living in fear after the attacks. "This is very bad. This fighting is affecting our community and people don't feel safe."

Meanwhile, political commentator Protas Madlala yesterday urged all stakeholders in the taxi and transport industry to convene and establish an independent commission of inquiry into the ongoing taxi and bus-related conflicts in the province.

X