Disputed NANDUWE and WATA taxi ranks and routes in Soweto closed

11 July 2017 - 18:01 By Timeslive
subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now
Minibus Taxi rank.
Minibus Taxi rank.

The Gauteng government has announced the closure of the ranks and related routes operated by the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (NANDUWE) and Witwatersrand Taxi Association (WATA) in Soweto in the wake of an ongoing taxi war.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi said the provincial government had “concrete and credible evidence” that violence‚ unrest and instability at the ranks and on the routes were of "such high level to justify extraordinary measures”.

“To date‚ law enforcement agencies are investigating at least 13 cases of murder‚ attempted murder‚ assault‚ damage to property and intimidation involving over 30 suspects and victims. These criminal acts have adversely affected innocent members of the public‚ commuters‚ taxi drivers and operators.

“As recently as yesterday‚ heavily armed men allegedly linked to both WATA and NANDUWE had a confrontation in the affected area in the presence of law enforcement officers‚” Vadi stated.

He added that there had been instances of unlawful road blockades in the Johannesburg CBD leading to severe disruption of traffic and economic activities.

“The most recent was on Friday‚ 7 July 2017‚ where taxi drivers and operators claiming to be members of NANDUWE‚ and supported by heavily armed security guards‚ unlawfully and illegally blockaded several streets in the city.

“Also‚ there were a number of other unreported instances of disruption of taxi services at the said ranks and routes.”

This extraordinary measure would be effective from July 13 until August 13‚ Vadi said.

The affected ranks and routes are as follows: 1. Mofolo Kwa-Mthethwa Informal Taxi Rank; 2. Makhetha Stores Informal Taxi Rank; 3. Dube Station Taxi Rank; 4. Makhetha Garage (Phefeni) Taxi Rank; and 5. Uncle Tom’s Taxi Rank.

“It is in the public interest that we act now. As executive authorities for public transport and community safety‚ we are responsible for safety of commuters and the public at large at the ranks and along the routes. We firmly believe that the closure of the said routes and ranks is now necessary to achieve normality in the declared area.

“At the same time‚ we believe that it is in the interest of the affected taxi associations that they play a positive and constructive role in guaranteeing the safety of those who use their services.

“We also urge the leadership and membership of taxi associations to publicly dissociate themselves from criminal and unlawful acts that show wanton disregard for the safety and lives of innocent people. Such lawlessness is unacceptable under any circumstances. We‚ therefore‚ call on the leadership and membership of the two Associations to play their part in maintaining order and safety in the declared areas by abiding by court orders and administrative rulings‚” Vadi said.

subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now