The KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Willies Mchunu, has directed the Department’s legal unit to explore and invoke all legal avenues available to Government to enforce stability in the taxi industry in the violence-torn KwaNdengezi and Zwelibomvu, west of Durban.
Addressing the two associations – KwaNdengezi and Zwelibomvu – in the wake of continued acts of violence and disturbances, Mchunu urged that all efforts should be directed at ensuring that no illegal operations were conducted in the area.
This move comes in the wake of continued violence in the area, which has claimed five lives, including a person who was killed yesterday.
“We cannot allow illegal operations in KwaNdebengezi and Zwelibomvu. Unfortunately, all processes and mechanisms that we have put into place to ensure smooth operations in this area have not been adhered to. This has resulted in the death of many people, including a passenger. We wish to state it for the record that this situation cannot be tolerated. We therefore have no option but to explore all legal avenues to enforce peace and stability,” said Mchunu.
Yesterday MEC Mchunu was also briefed by the leadership of the police and it was resolved that strong deployments be made to protect lives of commuters and property. The meeting also resolved that all cases relating to the recent violence be investigated by a highly specialised team from the province.
Mchunu also warned that the government could no longer stand by and watch illegal operators de-stabilising the taxi industry and perpetuating violence.
To tighten security and enforce law, Mchunu ordered the deployment of public transport enforcement unit (Operation Shanela) and the increase of the visibility of law enforcement agencies in the troubled areas.
“These random killings of taxi operators must now come to an end. We urge all those who are involved in the conflict to participate and exploit the space for peaceful dialogue which is created by Government. On daily basis, we will monitor the situation in KwaNdengezi until peace is achieved,” said MEC Mchunu.
As part of the intervention, MEC Mchunu has previously met with Amakhosi from KwaNdengezi and Zwelibomvu to solicit their support, as part of achieving peace and stability.