On Tuesday MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu, accompanied by Newcastle Mayor Cllr Afzul Rehman and SANTACO provincial leadership, met the leadership of Sizwe, Madadeni, Osizweni, Masihambisane Bara-Buffalo and Osizweni Utrecht and Boundaries Taxi Associations to assess progress on the roadmap, which was agreed to as part of bringing about peace and stability in Newcastle taxi industry.
The plan entailed having all associations and the Department auditing membership, improving security measures at the taxi rank, signing cooperation agreements and attending to the issue of legalizing operations by facilitating operating licences. It also outlined measures to be taken in harmonizing relations in instances where two or more associations operate in one route. The intervention was initiated by MEC Mchunu in 2014 following a series of killings of taxi operators attached to various associations in the area, which was also putting the lives of passengers in great danger.
“We and associations owe it to ourselves to ensure that we go to the commuters and formally explain what has been happening and also tender our apology for the mayhem that has been happening. I really hope that we are now poised for new peaceful and stable working conditions. The fact that the department has already issued close to 200 operating licences is a sign of the progress made. This is evidence that if we all work together, we can achieve total stability in the taxi industry in the province,” said Mchunu.
— in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.