Taxi bodies pledge to make ranks, routes safe

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Feuding taxi associations have pledged to work together to make Johannesburg taxi ranks safer in the new year.

The move comes after the two associations - Dobsonville-Roodepoort-Leratong-Johannesburg Taxi Association (Dorljota) and Faraday Taxi Association (FTA) - have been blamed for taxi violence that has claimed about 30 lives since 2007.

"We have lost many members over the past years. It is time we stopped the violence," said FTA member Breeze Dlamini.

He said last year they lost their two top officials, general secretary Oupa Kgatitswe and treasurer-general Frans Msimang, in the violence.

Dlamini accused corrupt police officers of fuelling the violence, alleging that "they took bribes" to destroy dockets.

"I have raised this with the authorities but nothing has happened," he said.

He said he could provide the names of people who were behind the violence.

Dlamini said he would not "cover up" for people just because they were affiliated to his association.

"We must expose those who are corrupt, irrespective of which organisations they belong to," he said.

He also appealed to Safety and Security, Minister Nathi Mthethwa to remove police officers who were corrupt from the serious organised crime unit.

Dorljota spokesman Joe Mophuting said: "We need to understand each other and show love for one another."

He assured commuters that their safety would be prioritised this year.

He said Dorljota would continue to provide free transport during funeral services in the areas where they operated.

Mophuting said most of the blood-letting was over lucrative routes between the city centre and nearby Randburg and over which association should operate from the Clearwater Mall and Makro ranks.

"We are what we are because of commuters. Therefore, it is our responsibility to make our ranks and routes safe for them," said Mophuting.