Gauteng MEC for Transport and Logistics Kedibone Diale-Tlabela has strongly condemned the attacks on e-hailing drivers and burning of cars at Maponya Mall in Soweto.
“We would like to strongly condemn these senseless attacks on individuals and damage to vehicles. These acts are unacceptable and must be dealt with harshly,” the MEC said on Friday.
This comes after an alleged confrontation that took place on Thursday between minibus taxi drivers and e-hailing drivers. It is alleged that minibus taxi drivers attacked e-hailing operators’ drivers and burnt three vehicles and damaged four others at Maponya Mall parking area.
Two of the burned vehicles are said to have belonged to an e-hailing operator while one belonged to a private person.
Three people were rushed to hospital following the incident with one of them having sustained injuries following a shooting incident, allegedly by minibus taxi drivers.
“We will not be deterred from building an integrated and modernised public transport system by individuals who use intimidation and violence to put their message across.
"We wish those injured a speedy recovery and call on law enforcement officials to work around the clock to apprehend those who were involved in this barbaric attack. They should face the full might of the law," Diale-Tlabela said.
The MEC said the Department of Roads and Transport has made significant strides to root out violence in the public transport sector following the 2019 Gauteng Taxi Summit and in line with the recommendations of the Taxi Violence Commission.
"Following the recommendations of the Taxi Violence Commission, amendments were made to the Gauteng Public Transport Regulations Entity 2011, to introduce Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism within the public transport service industry, putting government at the forefront in resolving taxi disputes and promote stability in the province.
“We call on all public transport operators to make use of the Arbitration Office to resolve their disputes," the MEC said. – SAnews.gov.za
Source: South African Government News Agency