The City of Cape Town had a busy weekend hunting down 176 minibus taxi drivers who owe almost R3 million in outstanding warrants.
Warrant dodgers “hit the skids” during operations in Delft, Manenberg, Mfuleni and Kraaifontein between Thursday and Sunday, said the City’s safety and security mayoral committee member, JP Smith, on Monday.
Their outstanding warrants stood at R2.74 million.
“One of them, aged 50, has 167 outstanding warrants to the value of R230 900. He was also found in possession of a firearm with an expired licence,” Smith said.
News24 reported in July that the City’s traffic services had come down hard on errant minibus taxi drivers as part of Operation Reclaim.
Officers arrested more than 3 000 drivers between May and mid-July with 13 568 outstanding warrants to the value of R31 million.
In the same period, 919 taxis were impounded either because the drivers did not have an operating licence, or they had contravened the licence condition.
On Monday, Smith said the enormity of the operation could not be underestimated but needed to be done.
“Our traffic department continues to be overrun by complaints about the behaviour of taxi drivers, and the high number of warrants executed just in the last few days bears testament to the problem,” he added.
“The taxi industry needs to take responsibility for its actions. I urge errant drivers to pay their outstanding fines, and start showing greater regard for the rules of the road.”
He said it was only a matter of time before guilty parties were caught.
“We are also about to increase the size of the taxi enforcement unit, which will significantly improve our ability to respond to the ongoing contempt for the rules of the road by the public transportation sector.”