The commission of inquiry into taxi violence in Gauteng has
found that police officials and taxi associations are among the biggest
contributors to violence in the sector.
The commission of inquiry into taxi violence in Gauteng has found that police officials and taxi associations are among the biggest contributors to violence in the sector.
The commission, which was led by retired Judge Jeremiah Shongwe, was established in 2019 to investigate the root causes of taxi violence in the province.
Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo released the findings on Thursday.
"The associations are currently not regulated but were previously regulated under the National Land Transport Transition. Despite the legal framework, the minibus taxi-type service is controlled by the associations,” he said.
“The associations control who gets to join them, they control routes and dictate where each operator must operate. They also allow those without operating licenses to join them.
"The vehicles owned by the association, and by some powerful individuals in the associations, do not wait for their turn in loading lines. They simply move to the front when they arrive at a taxi rank which causes a lot of resentment from the general membership.”
Taxi association leaders have also been implicated in corruption and using membership fees for their own benefit.
In addition, the commission also found that police officers are unlawfully operating taxis.
"It did become clear that the police were involved in some of the issues in different ways. There were allegations made by senior people representing the mother bodies of the taxi associations, that some police officials are involved in the industry by being operators and owners of taxis, which is against the law," said commissioner Hlula Msimang.
Msimang said there was evidence that state-issued firearms were used in some of the shootings.
The commission has made several recommendations, some of which involve regular police operations targeting the hideouts of hitmen and concealed weapons that are often used in murders.
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