From injured commuters to taxi route closures, here's a wrap of the Soweto violence

15 March 2019 - 08:46 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Six Soweto taxi ranks and routes have been closed until June.
Six Soweto taxi ranks and routes have been closed until June.
Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Friday marks the closure of six Soweto taxi ranks and routes following violence between the Nanduwe and Wata associations, which started earlier this year. Several people have been injured and some have lost their lives.

Here’s a wrap of what has transpired so far.

Shoot-out 

Last week, several taxi commuters sustained injuries during a shoot-out between the  associations.

Police spokesperson Captain  Kay Makhubela confirmed the incident, adding that private vehicles were also damaged.

This incident followed the killing of three taxi bosses in January.

Reason

The associations are fighting over taxi routes and taxi ranks, which include Dube station, Makhetha stores, Uncle Tom's Hall and Mfolo Sizwe.

Warning 

Ismail Vadi, Gauteng MEC for roads and transport, issued a warning on March 7, which was published in the provincial gazette. Vadi instructed the associations to iron out their differences or risk having some of their routes and taxi ranks closed. 

Routes closed

In a statement on Thursday, Vadi  said six taxi routes and ranks in Soweto would be shut down until June 15.

“The closure of taxi ranks and routes arises from the on-going conflict and violence between members of Wata and Nanduwe.

"I firmly believe that the closure of the said routes is now necessary to achieve normality in the declared area." 

Those who contravene the regulation will be fined R25,000 or face six months imprisonment.  

Alternative transportation

Vadi said although his department was aware of the inconvenience this closure would cause for commuters, their safety was paramount. He urged commuters to consider alternative means of transportation, such as Metrorail trains, Rea Vaya and Metro buses.

“It is necessary to shut down their minibus taxi services and for the safety of commuters and residents of Soweto.”


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