Police impound 15 vehicles on shut Soweto taxi routes

Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi has ordered law enforcement agents to nail taxi drivers operating while routes are closed
Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi has ordered law enforcement agents to nail taxi drivers operating while routes are closed

Police have impounded 15 vehicles that were found operating in the routes and ranks closed by Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi in Soweto.

“Law-enforcement operations are currently in progress at the designated taxi routes and ranks in Soweto. Currently, 15 vehicles have been impounded and the police will prosecute in terms of the regulations that were promulgated.

The department of roads and transport reaffirms that the six specific taxi ranks and routes will remain shut down until further notice,” said Melitah Madiba Madiba, spokesperson for the department.

Vadi announced this week that from Friday ranks and routes belonging to Witwatersrand African Taxi Owners' Association (Wata) and the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association would be shut down due to ongoing violence between these taxi associations.

The department said five cases of murders, five of damage to property and one case of public violence had been opened since the start of the year.

The decision close the taxi ranks and routes leaves thousands of commuters in Soweto compelled to find alternative means of transport.

The department said anyone contravening the MEC's decision could be jailed for six months or be fined R25,000.

An 11th hour meeting between the two taxi associations and representatives from the department was held on Thursday. Despite the lengthy meeting which went into the early evening, no deal was made good enough to make Vadi to change his mind.

Wata has maintained that the two associations had signed an agreement before the closure of their operation which should have made the MEC to reconsider his decision.

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