Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has noted with deep concern the recent incidents of violence in Cape Town related to law enforcement officials impounding taxis due to various infringements.
In a statement on Thursday, the Minister strongly condemned any form of violence from all parties involved in dealing with this impasse.
The Minister said she recognises the vital role that the taxi industry plays in providing essential transportation services to the public. She acknowledges the challenges faced by operators and drivers.
"However, resorting to violence and acts of aggression not only undermines the rule of law but also jeopardises the safety and well-being of passengers, law enforcement officials and innocent bystanders. It is crucial that all parties involved in this matter prioritise peaceful and constructive dialogue to resolve the issues at hand,” Chikunga said.
The Minister urged all stakeholders to work together and find common ground, without resorting to violence, in order to speedily address the challenges faced in the taxi industry.
She said government is committed to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by the taxi industry.
The Minister called on all relevant stakeholders, including taxi associations, law enforcement agencies and government officials, to engage in open and transparent discussions to address grievances, improve regulations, and ensure the safe and efficient transportation of passengers.
She said she understands the frustrations and concerns of the affected parties, and encouraged them to express their grievances through peaceful means and established channels.
Chikunga urged all parties to explore mediation and negotiation processes to resolve conflicts and reach mutually beneficial agreements.
Furthermore, she called on the taxi industry to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations governing their operations.
“Adherence to these regulations not only promotes safety but also demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and accountability. All stakeholders must work together to foster an environment where the rights and responsibilities of both operators and passengers are upheld.
“I appeal to taxi associations, law enforcement agencies and all relevant parties to prioritise the well-being of the public and work towards finding a resolution that respects the rule of law. All parties must act responsibly and in the best interests of the passengers and the broader community,” the Minister said.
She assured the nation that she remains committed to ensuring a safe and reliable public transport system.
“All South Africans must play their part in fostering a culture of peace, respect and adherence to the law. By working together, we can overcome the challenges faced by the taxi industry and create an environment that benefits all stakeholders,” Chikunga said.
Source: South African Government News Agency