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Bheki Cele's taxi ban in Mthatha is relaxed

09 April 2018 - 08:24 By Sikho Ntshobane
Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Eastern Cape transport‚ safety and liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana has reopened the taxi routes closed by Police Minister Bheki Cele days before the Easter holiday‚ to accommodate the need for back-to-school transport.

Tikana announced the relaxation of the ban‚ which prohibited taxis from operating on the R61 between Mthatha and Port St Johns‚ the N2 between Mthatha and Tsolo and the R396 route between Tsolo and Maclear.

A notice was subsequently published in the government gazette in terms of Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act of 2009 to close all ranks and suspend taxi operations around Mthatha‚ Ngqeleni‚ Ntlaza and taxi operations of both Border Alliance Taxi Association (Bata) and Uncedo Service Taxi Association (Uncedo) in Port St Johns‚ Ugie‚ Maclear and Tsolo.

Tikana has also previously revealed that more than 60 people had been killed through taxi violence since 2016.

“This decision [to relax the ban] is specifically taken to allow for the transportation of pupils to school and all other operations are still suspended‚” Tikana said in a statement.

Tikana defended the state’s decision to institute a ban on taxis‚ saying it was an “extraordinary measure” they had to take to protect the lives of both taxi operators and commuters.

Provincial transport spokeswoman Khuselwa Rantjie said a total of 15 operating permits were confiscated from taxis found operating illegally on the routes.

- DispatchLIVE