Only days after the appointment of a public transport intervention team to address the escalation of violence in the taxi industry in Madibeng and other areas in North West, the MEC for the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari has requested the reversal of the appointment because of “numerous concerns from a number of stakeholders.”
The department said there had been a reported standoff between bus operators and taxi drivers in Brits. The North Public Transport Intervention Team (NWPTIT) was established last week to address the instability in the transport sector especially, in the taxi industry. The department has noted with concern the escalation of a culture of violence which led to loss of lives in some instances,” Lehari said.
He said given the volatility of the situation, the department set up the intervention team in an advisory role to examine and identify challenges faced by the broader transport sector and solutions to the problem.
In establishing the intervention team, the MEC consulted various stakeholders such as the organised taxi bodies, the South African National Small Bus Operators Council (SANSBOC), and relevant government entities.
“All agreed that an intervention is necessary. It was after this interactive process that the team of 12 members, comprising six men and six women was identified. Last week the team was introduced to the public. However there had been numerous concerns from a number of stakeholders on the processes followed to establish the team.”
The MEC then requested that the appointment of the team be reversed in order to allow the department to address concerns raised and embark on a proper recruitment process.
Brits has been plagued with taxi violence the past year. In February, one person died and several were injured after a taxi siege. More than 50 taxis were damaged.