Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

It has been discovered that irregularities at a high level in running taxi associations are the reasons for the ongoing taxi violence in Limpopo.

Eight taxi-related deaths have been reported since the beginning of the year.

The provincial department of roads and transport said yesterday it had discovered corrupt activities at the highest level in how taxi associations run their affairs in the province.

The department's public transport general manager Polly Boshielo said yesterday that a meeting between the department, Limpopo Taxi Council and leaders in the taxi industry had resolved to formalise the industry with immediate effect.

Boshielo said there were 173 registered taxi associations in the province and that some of these were not operating according to required standards.

In some instances leaders of a particular association would register a company using the association's resources and tensions would arise when certain people were voted out of leadership positions and then demanded their cut.

"This is where the problem arose, because this person knew about the extent of corruption taking in place in the association and couldn't let it go unchallenged," Boshielo said.

She said among the causes of conflict identified were the issue of routes and the emergence of new associations and their subsequent registration as well as their recognition by the department.

"The meeting agreed on the need to deal with these issues by regulating them," she said.

Among the other things the department had resolved was to put on hold the registration of new associations "with immediate effect".

"This has been seen as one of the causes of the conflict in that new associations encroach on routes already allocated to other operators," Boshielo explained.

She said they would also conduct an audit of all associations and the associations' members from next month.

This process, according to Boshielo, would ensure that the industry had authentic associations and members who were duly registered with the department.

"We, however, do not rule out the possibility of our officials playing a role in the corrupt manner in which the associations were being registered," she said.