Taxi Association operations banned in Alfred Duma Municipality

Democratic Alliance media statement by Alf Lees, MP

DA Uthukela Constituency Leader and DA Deputy Shadow Minister of Finance

 

Taxi Association operations banned in Alfred Duma Municipality

 

The DA unequivocally condemns the violence and murders that have occurred in the Ladysmith area and that seem to be associated with rivalry and hostility between different Taxi Associations.

There can never be sufficient reason to use violence and murder as a way of settling differences or even in retaliation for violence and murder.

We urge all parties involved to peacefully settle their differences within the law and to stop any further violence and murders.

The taxi industry plays a vital part in transporting commuters to and from their homes, schools and places of work in a way that no bus service is able to do. This industry is an integral part of the economy of Alfred Duma Municipality and facilitates the few jobs that are available to our people in an economy that has been all but destroyed by the destructive policies of the ANC.

Mxolisi Kaunda the KZN MEC of Transport has taken a very serious step of banning seemingly only mini-bus taxi’s associated with two Taxi Associations from operating in the area for a period of six months. This step does not appear to have been fully considered as there is a high possibility of negative consequences:

• Great hardship for commuters who will have to walk great distances to catch busses which will not cover the many suburban routes that the mini-bus taxis operate on;
• Negative impact on the local economy with employees arriving late for work;
• Great hardship on the taxi operators and their families who honestly go about their daily operations who have now unilaterally had their income stopped and this as they celebrate the Christmas season;
• Escalated violence between taxi owners who operations have been banned and taxi owners who are permitted to continue their operations;
• Violence between taxi operators and bus companies; and
• Innocent people being caught up directly in possible violence and possibly even losing their lives.

A blanket ban on the hundreds of taxi operators and drivers who are associated with the two taxi associations is clearly unwarranted punishment of innocent operators and drivers who have had absolutely no participation in any violence at all.

The “group punishment” of the innocent with the guilty is being justified by the ongoing violence over an extended period when some 71 lives have been lost and during which the SAPS have not been able to identify the guilty people, to arrest them, charge them and ensure that they are convicted and jailed.

MEC Kaunda would not have been able to use the violence as a reason to ban taxi operations had the SAPS been given the resources to do their jobs and to make sure that the people involved in violence and murders were brought to justice.

I have written to the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, to request details of the action that the SAPS have and are taking in the Alfred Duma Municipality to arrest and charge all the persons involved in the violence and murders apparently resulting from rivalry in the taxi industry in the municipality.

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