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Taxis return to ‘normal’ on Cape Town roads

Except on the contested route where negotiations between CATA and CODETA are still underway.
The top photo was taken on 20 July at the main taxi rank in Cape Town during taxi violence. The one below shows the rank, much busier, on Tuesday, 2 August, a day after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced an agreement between rival taxi associations. Images: Ashraf Hendricks

It was all hands on deck again for taxi operators on Tuesday, with the Congress for Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA) reporting that its taxis were back on Cape Town roads.

This comes a day after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced an agreement between rival taxi associations, CODETA and Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA). Mbalula has however kept the suspension of operations on the contested route B97 between Mbekweni, Paarl and Bellville in place.

Taxi violence over the past few weeks has left many Cape Town commuters stranded and unable to travel to work or school.

When GroundUp visited the Cape Town taxi rank on Tuesday afternoon, white minibus taxis filled the entire rank. This was a stark contrast to how empty the rank was less than a week ago.

CODETA spokesperson Andile Kanyi confirmed that “all of [their] fleet,” about 4,500 taxis, was operating. Members of the association already started operating again on Thursday, however at a limited capacity. They are avoiding route B97 at Mbalula’s instruction until a deal can be secured.

Meanwhile, at a press briefing on Monday, Mbalula said that all other routes would remain open and operators are to return to service and in line with their operating licences.

Mbalula said that the arbitration process between the two taxi groups was still ongoing. The arbitration started last week after initial peace talks mediated by the minister and Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell deadlocked.

The closure of route B97 was initially meant to last for two months. But now, according to Lesley Sikhupela, secretary at CODETA, it may be reopened “as soon as the violence subsides”. He said that in the last two weeks, tensions between the rivals have subsided.

Mbalula also stated that once the contested route is reopened, only legal operating licence holders will be allowed to operate.

However, if there is a demand for more services on the route, affected municipalities, which include Drakenstein municipality and the City of Cape Town, must determine how many operating licences to issue, in accordance with the arbitration award yet to be determined.

Mbalula added that all routes would be monitored this week and action would be taken against all license holders who breach the agreement.

© 2021 GroundUp. This article was first published here.

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This ongoing criminality and infighting in the taxi industry is such an accurate display of the communalist mindset, that we can’t miss the opportunity to explore this phenomenon along those lines.

The road is a public resource, a national asset, right? It definitely does not belong to the taxi operators, but they fight over the rights to that road as if it does belong to them. They kill each other for the right to that road as if they are protecting their private property from invasion. These communalists destroy the bus services and burn the trains to ensure their monopoly on transport. They protect themselves from the market forces of supply and demand to exploit the consumers who are forced to pay a higher taxi fare. They eliminate the free market by force. The authorities create a bad president when they negotiate with these terrorists. The fact that authorities are forced to negotiate, implies that the rule of law has deteriorated to such an extent that they have lost control to the communalists.

This is exactly what opposing clans do for grazing rights on the communal lands in the hills of the Transkei or KwaZulu-Natal. This is precisely what the ANC factions do to defend their opportunity to loot the shared assets of the nation. ANC ward members kill each other for the right to rule over the assets of the municipality, a shared resource. Cadre deployment is the controlled distribution of the national resources to looters and plunderers.

There is absolutely nothing noble, justifiable, or morally superior about the shared ownership of resources. It is an archaic and degrading system that brings out the worst in humans and allows the scum in society to rise to the top. It rewards unaccountability and exploitation and punishes ethical and responsible behavior patterns.

Any economy is destined for failure when communalists have the power to make laws. Famine becomes inevitable when communalists whin control of the legislature.

Any economy is also destined for failure when over 80 people are murdered in a taxi turf war and the national police force is incapable of preventing this, along with the burning of Golden Arrow buses, attacks on drivers and the collapse of the Cape Town metro rail service.

The way the government lends legitimacy to what are essentially mafia organizations, who will resort to domestic terrorism if they don’t get their way, is shocking. These organisations should be forcibly disbanded and taxi owners should only be allowed to form organizations that are law abiding. People lost their jobs, bus and Uber drivers were killed, while these villains forced their violence onto the normal working citizens of Cape Town. Another brick-of-shame in the ANC’s Great Wall of Failure.

End of comments.

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