Taxi associations agreement to end violence now binding, high court declares

12 August 2020 - 14:54
By Penwell Dlamini
Taxi associations agreement to end violence now binding says high court.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Lulama Zenzile Taxi associations agreement to end violence now binding says high court.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has endorsed the agreement signed by taxi bosses in Gauteng committing themselves  to ending violence in the industry.

Gauteng transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo had approached the court on an urgent basis to get the agreement signed by the Gauteng South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the National Taxi Council (NTA) be made an order of the court.

Santaco and NTA signed the agreement on July 13, committing themselves to curbing taxi violence and modernizing the industry in the province. In the agreement, the MEC for transport is empowered to intervene in the administration of unstable taxi associations riddled with internal conflict.

The MEC can also place such associations under administration and appoint an administrator to act in consultation with the provincial structures of the taxi industry. With the court order in place, Mamabolo will  be empowered to introduce new measures to modernise payment of taxi fares.

"We are convinced that this court order can only serve to strengthen our efforts to close the leaking of taps of cash and liquidity that is feeding and greasing the killing beast and machinery of killers and murderers that have found a lucrative market in our province," said Mamabolo.

For decades, the taxi industry in Gauteng has been troubled by violence which has claimed many lives. The industry has over time developed a reputation of hiring hitmen to eliminate those not wanted within taxi associations.

Just 10 days after the historic agreement was reached, two taxi drivers were shot dead in Marabastad taxi rank in Pretoria. Two others were wounded in the shooting. They were all in a minibus taxi when unknown gunmen fired shots on them. This raised questions on whether the sector is really committed in ending violence.