D Day for bellicose taxi associations
Scores of Taxi owners affiliated to NancefieldDube West Taxi Association (NANDUWE) and Witwatersrand African Taxi Association (WATA) could soon be proffering a begging bowl and be out of business for three months, unless their leadership come up with a written and signed assurance restoring peaceful operations in the violence torn routes.
Furthermore banks could pounce on them and repossess their vehicles as they will never be able to keep up with their monthly installments.
This comes in the wake of an ultimatum issued by Gauteng MEC for Road and Transport, Ismail Vadi, that he intends extending the notice closing the five taxi ranks and routes linked to violence for a further three months.
Vadi said that he has not received any assurances from the leadership of the two taxi bodies about restoring peaceful operations in the area.
“I intend to extend the extraordinary measures instituted on 13 July, which are aimed at stabilizing public transport services in Soweto, for a further three months as there is no agreement between the two associations aimed at normalizing the situation,” said Vadi.
Addressing the media at the Legislature,Vadi also insisted that there must be:
• An immediate removal of armed security companies on all taxi routes and ranks allocated to the two Associations;
• A commitment to end all forms of violence and intimidation;
• An agreement that the two associations will conduct their taxi operations in terms of the provisions and conditions provided in our respective (original) Operating Licenses until the appeal by WATA is adjudicated upon by the Transport Appeals Tribunal nationally.
• Taxi operators affiliated to NANDUWE and WATA put visible stickers that are different from each other to distinguish them for law enforcement purposes.
The MEC also issued a stern warning that, if the two associations are unable to agree to these conditions which urgently warrant consideration, He will extend notice of suspension of minibuses on the affected routes.
At the time of going to print, no one was available to comment. But sources from the two associations who wished to remain anonymous told this publication that negotiations stalled and no agreement was reached.
Did you know?
Distressed Wata taxis operate from Zola to Bara and Joburg CBD. Whereas Nanduwe taxis operate from Rockville to Orlando West and Joburg CBD.