taxi violence

Taxi violence: Talks between Cape Town gov and industry deadlocked

Andile Sicetsha - 22.07.2021

Mbalula warns of army deployment if the situation in Cape Town doesn’t improve.

A stalemate in negotiations between the Cape Town taxi industry, transport ministry and stakeholders means that the violence that’s gripped the Mother City recently may continue.

Taxi violence latest: Peace talks break down

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula held a press briefing, on Thursday, alongside Western’s Cape MEC Daylin Mitchell, to provide an update on the turnout of the first concrete symposium held with taxi associations.

Putting it plainly, the minister revealed that talks have hit a deadend in the first round. He confirmed murmurs that the taxi violence that’s gripped the city in fear for the better part of the last two weeks, is linked to disagreements about specific high-income routes.

Acting in the capacity of a mediator, the transport ministry, Mbalula revealed, could do nothing to sway taxi associations to meet common ground.

What’s worse, the meeting yielded no confidence in the possibility of a ceasefire in the impasse. Instead, the minister said, plans should be in place to involve the police and defence ministry should things get out of hand before the second round of talks.

“If the solution doesn’t come quicker, the violence continues. Then we’ve got to have measures in place, which the minister of police and defence will assist us with, in terms of the defence supporting the police to bring law and order,” Mbalula said.

Will Cape Town taxis return to service?

At this juncture, Mbalula would not be drawn into making assertions about the possibility of taxis returning to service their routes.

The failed talks, the minister explained, suggests that matters will remain in limbo. MEC Mitchell will return with an update on the latest interventions government is prepared to take should roads be inaccessible to commuters and motorists in the days to come.

Mbalula assured the press that taxi associations have been informed of government’s intention to step into the fray to provide emergency assistance to those affected by the taxi violence, if no movement is seen in the impasse.

“It could happen even that we get good results out of the parallel negotiation process and that means everything else we’ve planned will stop because now there is normality, people have agreed,” he added.

The minister confirmed that the second round of talks will take place is six days and as things stand, all parties have agreed to attend the arbitration meeting.