Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

05 August 2022

Taxi associations as well as the Hammanskraal United Commuters Voice have had enough of killings and violence in the region and want urgent mediation.

They handed over a memorandum to the Department of Transport at Pretoria Central Business District (CBD) on Thursday, 04 August 2022, directed at Minister Fikile Mbalula.

They gave him seven working days to respond.

Chairperson of the Hammanskraal United Commuters Voice, Caiphus Makoti said the problems in Hammanskraal started sometime in 2020 when another taxi association, Simunye, was brought in without discussion.

“The new taxi association created divide and rule to a point where there was chaos that was the start of the taxi violence in the region.

“As we represent commuters, we realised that we have to stand up, or else the community as a whole will be left traumatised.

“The people will end up being caught up in the crossfire and we do not want to see that happen.”

Taxi Association as well as Hammanskraal United Commuters Voice hand over a memorandum to the Department of Transport.

Makoti called to attention that the taxi associations and commuters were not consulted with regard to the introduction of Simunye in Hammanskraal.

“We do not even know who they are or what they do, but they are the cause of problems,” Makoti said.

The first grievance on the memorandum was for Simunye to be totally removed from the Renbro, Kopanong and Jubilee shopping centres.

One of the grounds stated was that since Simunye had been brought by the Department of Roads and Transport in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, they had experienced more deaths which related to taxi violence.

“Now as the commuters’ representatives and other 10 taxi associations in Hammanskraal, we had agreed with one voice that what two provinces had started without our knowledge, for the safety of our society they must remove them from our peaceful place.

“We do not know anything about Simunye except that it caused our community pains, sorrows and left us traumatised,” the memorandum read.

They said they had tried to make appointments with the respective MECs in the two provinces without success.

One of the requests in the memorandum was for Mata and Makata taxi associations to go back to their previous loading ranks.

“We need to remain with 10 taxi associations to avoid violence.

We do not want to see any conflicts or killings relating to taxi violence any more.

The Gauteng Provincial Regulatory Entity must de-register Simunye.

The entity, together with the traffic departments and the police, must make sure that the Simunye taxi operators and Maphaila are removed from Hammanskraal because their operations are illegal.

“The entity must verify the operating licences of the respective taxi associations which claim the right to load and offload passengers at Renbro, Kopanong and Jubilee and allow those who are in possession of valid operating licences to continue with the operations by engaging the traffic officials,” the memorandum read.

It also stated that police officers must ensure that the operations ran smoothly by patrolling the ranking spaces to avoid any violence or killings.