Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, says he will on Monday meet taxi associations in Gauteng - together with all their regional structures - to discuss the violent way in which they resolve matters. Mamabolo revealed this in an interview with television news channel, eNCA.
He was reacting to a violent attacks on an Uber driver in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, that took place on Thursday. Mamabolo condemned this attack, which he described as "barbaric".
A video of a male Uber driver being assaulted by members of the Katlehong People's Taxi Association has gone viral on social media. In the video he can be seen asking for forgiveness while beatings continue, and he is then forced into a car marked Katlehong People's Taxi Association. His car collided with a tree while he was being chased by minibus taxi bosses after he dropped a customer off.
One suspect has been arrested on charges of assault for allegedly inflicting injuries on an Uber driver, while another suspect is being sought by the police.
“I am appalled by the level of savagery and hate displayed by the individuals who perpetrated this act of violence. These acts are unacceptable and must be condemned. We pledge our solidarity with the victim and wish him a speedy recovery,” said Mamabolo.
He called on law enforcement agencies to apprehend each and every individual who was involved in the crime.
“We have come a long way as a province in dealing with minibus taxi violence. This incident is an affront to the efforts of so many peace-loving people within the taxi industry and the people of Gauteng. These individuals should face the full might of the law,” Mamabolo added.
He said his department has made significant strides together with the taxi industry to root out violence in the industry since the July 2019 Gauteng Taxi Summit held in Emfuleni Local Municipality, Sedibeng District.
“Together with the Provincial South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and the Gauteng National Taxi Alliance (GNTA) and their various associations, the Gauteng Provincial Government has availed platforms for dispute resolution in an effort to avert violence as a means of resolving problems in the public transport sector. We have made tremendous progress in this regard,” the MEC said.
He added that the latest incident of violence should not be allowed to undermine the efforts that have been made in ridding the province of taxi violence.
“All our interventions in the taxi industry were to ensure that the industry sheds its negative public perception and takes its rightful place in the public transport value chain," said the MEC.
As part of the provincial government’s Growing Gauteng Together Through Smart Mobility vision, the department has prioritised the modernisation of the taxi industry as the majority public transport mode in the province.