Taxi violence in the city centre this afternoon led to the City of Cape Town issuing the following media statement:
‘CITY OF CAPE TOWN
1 AUGUST 2023
City urging minibus-taxi industry to refrain from violence, disruptions
The City of Cape Town notes the intention from SANTACO in the Western Cape about the implementation of possible stay-away action later this week or early next week. Unfortunately, minibus-taxi operators this afternoon already blocked roads around the Station Deck minibus-taxi facility, preventing MyCiTi buses and other vehicles from exiting the central business district via Nelson Mandela Boulevard and the N2 highway. Law Enforcement is currently on the scene. The City wants to issue a stern warning ahead of this potential strike by the minibus-taxi industry in Cape Town to refrain from violence, attacks on other public transport operators, intimidation, and traffic disruptions. Read more below:
‘We know from hard learnt experience that strike action is often marked by intimidation of non-striking public transport operators, threats, violence and destruction of public and private property. We respect the right to peaceful protest and strike action, however, I want to make it very clear that the City will not tolerate any thuggish behaviour. We will hold SANTACO accountable for any losses and damages. The general public has equal right to get to work to earn a living and provide for their families. I am calling on all working within the minibus-taxi industry to please remain calm, and for SANTACO to resume efforts of constructive engagement soonest,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.
SANTACO withdrew from engagements with the City and the Western Cape Government (WCG) last week.
‘The City and the WCG sent a joint letter to SANTACO with proposals to address some of their concerns, among which the impoundment of vehicles that are operating illegally without operating licences, or contrary to their licence conditions. I urge SANTACO to return to the negotiations so that we can resolve these issues in a peaceful manner, in the interest of all operators, the industry in general, those employed by the industry, and most importantly, the thousands of commuters who rely on minibus-taxis to get to and from work,’ said Councillor Quintas.
If need be, the City will apply for an interdict to protect human lives and public and private property.
The illegal blockade in the CBD during the peak hour period this afternoon is an indication that should the strike go ahead, it may have an impact on the MyCiTi N2 Express routes between the Civic Centre MyCiTi station and Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha in particular, and to a lesser degree on other routes operating across Cape Town.
The City will make operational decisions in the interest of the safety and security of commuters and employees. We will closely monitor routes and Law Enforcement will conduct regular patrols.
As a precautionary measure, MyCiTi commuters and those relying on the minibus-taxi industry for commuting are advised to anticipate delays in coming days, and to plan accordingly.
We will keep the public informed as best we can in coming days.
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town
Media enquiries: Councillor Rob Quintas, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Tel: 021 400 7197 or Cell: 082 042 3502, Email: Roberto.Quintas@capetown.gov.za (please always copy email@example.com)’