Gauteng MEC of Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, on Tuesday announced the closure of one of the major taxi ranks in Soweto.
Vadi said that routes belonging to the NANDUWE (Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association) as well as the WATA (Witswatersrand Taxi Association) will no longer be accessible from the July 13 until August 13.
This is after Vadi published regulations in the Provincial Gazette invoking extraordinary measures in declared areas, to close ranks and related routes operated by the associations.
This is because of the ongoing violence between taxi drivers in the rival associations which has warranted much concern for the department.
Vadi was speaking at a briefing alongside MEC of Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.
According to the department 13 cases of murder, attempted murder, assault, damage to property and intimidation which are due to violence between NANDUWE and WATA have been reported to law enforcement agencies.
The affected ranks include:
- Mofolo Kwa- Mthethwa Informal Taxi Rank
- Makheta stores informal taxi rank
- Dube Station taxi rank Makheta garage
- Uncle Tom's Taxi Rank
Vadi said anyone who is found to be operating in these routes while they are closed will be punished severely.
"Anyone found to be operating in these routes will be arrested for six months or fined R25 000" he explained.
Nkosi- Malobane sent out a stern warning to anyone who might try their luck while the routes are closed saying there will be a high police presence at the ranks and along routes.
Although this is going to cause a big inconvenience for commuters in this area, Nkosi Malobane says the closing of these routes is beneficial for the community.
"The safety of people comes first" she said.