While major public transport routes in Cape Town have been affected by attacks on taxis, there has been no incidents of violence reported by the South African Police Services (Saps) from Tuesday overnight and until Wednesday afternoon.
This is after shots were fired at the Langa taxi rank on Monday, while a Golden Arrow bus driver was shot in the face on the N2.
The ongoing taxi-related violence has left an estimated 82 people dead since January this year due to a dispute between two taxi associations – the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) – who are fighting over control of a route between Paarl and Mbekweni.
The violence has even prompted government to intervene, with talks to resolve loading rights disputes between Cata and Codeta having started on Friday, while shootings directed at taxis continued.
Western Cape MEC for community safety, Albert Fritz, welcomed the news of no incidents being reported, further warning that the violence had “far-reaching consequences”.
“We welcome the calm. Our residents deserve nothing less. It really upsets me that our citizens are not able to do the most basic things, like travel to work without worrying about being caught in crossfire. The instigators don’t think about the consequences of their actions.
“Last night I spoke to a petrol attendant who was alone on duty. He was telling me all his colleagues are too scared to travel. Automatically, that business and the jobs it generated, are at risk. So this taxi violence issue has far-reaching consequences and it must come to an end.”
Fritz, however, indicated that there had also been a significant increase in police presence – despite the calm at the moment.
He said Western Cape Premier Alan Winde had since called for additional troops from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to be on the ground.
He further urged police to arrest of those responsible for violence.
“We are already seeing the benefits of this significant Saps response, and we need to keep up the good work. We now also need many more arrests, so all those responsible for this violence end up behind bars.”
Some Eskom services suspended
Eskom no Wednesday suspended some major services in parts of Cape Town affected by the violence.
In a statement, Eskom said the ongoing taxi violence in Cape Town posed a significant threat to the safety of Eskom staff travelling in vehicles that resemble taxis, especially in the affected areas.
The affected areas include Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Langa, Bellville, Wynberg, Vrygrond, Fish Hoek, Masiphumelele, Athlone and Mitchells Plain.
The power utility also indicated that it would continue attending to faults not affected by the grounding of its minibus vehicles.