Gauteng Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, has welcomed a court order aimed at keeping the peace in taxi operations in the Johannesburg CBD.
This after the High Court successfully granted the MEC an interdict against the Johannesburg Minibus Taxi Association preventing their members from intimidating or interfering with the Johannesburg Bara Qwa-Qwa Transport Services Taxi Association's operations at the city’s taxi rank.
In a statement released on Thursday, the provincial department said minibus taxis belonging to the association were expelled by heavily armed men, who occupied and took control of the taxi rank.
Mamabolo said that he tried to intervene by having a meeting with the representatives of both associations and even offered the parties a mediator to assist in resolving the matter. His efforts proved to be futile however as the Taxi Association rejected his call for a truce.
He described the order that was granted on Tuesday as a “victory for stability in the taxi industry and the commuting public”.
Throughout, the MEC pleaded with the association not to take matters into its own hands and retaliate as the MEC was set to approach the courts for intervention.
Mamabolo also commended the taxi association for showing full confidence in negotiations and the rule of law.
He went on to say that “it was thanks to the maturity of the leadership of the Johannesburg Bara Qwa-Qwa Transport Services Taxi Association that we avoided the CBD of the City of Joburg becoming a war zone, which could have threatened the lives of members of the public, commuters and taxi operators.”
He also urged all parties to respect the law, especially the court order that was granted.
He further urged leaders of the taxi industry to appreciate that armed gangs and guns parading at taxi ranks is a thing of the past.
The statement ended with the MEC urging taxi bosses to begin a transition to the new normal of a gun-free taxi industry.