The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has taken a historic and unprecedented step towards curbing taxi violence in the Province.
This follows the decisive and swift action of the Department of Roads and Transport approaching the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria on an urgent basis to make a resolution concluded and reached with SANTACO GP and Gauteng National Taxi Alliance (GNTA) on the 13th July 2020 an order of court.
The Pretoria High Court granted the order on 11 August 2020 thus giving it the power of enforcement, expressly directing South African Police Services (SAPS) to act against transgressors who violate any aspect of the resolution that is now a court order.
Amongst the resolutions included in the agreement is that the MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure is empowered to intervene in the administration of unstable taxi associations that are riddled with internal rifts and fights that pose a threat to human life; and to restore good administration and prevent infighting or disputes, which are at the root of the taxi violence.
The MEC is empowered by the resolution to place such taxi associations immediately under administration and to appoint an administrator acting in consultation with provincial structures of the minibus taxi industry.
This remedy and power is currently not provided for in the National Transport Land Act, therefore the court order and the resolution close that gap in the law.
The court order also brings to an end the old practice of collection of money from members through methods bordering on money laundering and will assist in putting an end to, as is alleged, that such monies are being used to pay killers and murderers that are currently ravaging lives of members of the taxi industry.
The court order will therefore usher in new measures to modernise and formalise the payment of tariffs and fees within taxi associations.
MEC Jacob Mamabolo said that these measures will promote accountability and transparency within taxi associations and ensure a sustainable financial well-being of the industry.
“As the provincial government, we welcome this historic agreement (and the resultant court order) as it, with immediate effect, prohibits taxi associations (including leaders of associations and the general members) to collect tariffs and fees from members within the relevant taxi association through means other than those stated in the agreement.
“Such measures include, decisions to collect money from members should be based on democratic decisions reached and made by members, that such monies should be deposited in the bank account and that there shall be full financial accountability through audited financial statements,” said Mamabolo.
MEC further said that the provincial government is convinced that the court order ‘can only serve to strengthen our efforts to close the leaking 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’.
“We are pleased that this historic court order will push back the frontiers of murderers and killers marauding and running loose in our province, threatening to turn areas identified as lucrative routes for capture especially with the financial pressure brought to bear on the commuter by Covid-19 pandemic,” Mamabolo added.
The GPG therefore calls on law enforcement agencies to enforce this important tool and instrument in their hands to protect taxi operators, commuters and protect our province, the economic hub of our country from being turned into a war-zone by taxi wars driven by taxi warlords.
The court order will now be served on all taxi associations operating in the province.
INFO SUPPLIED BY THE DEPARTMENT.