Bheki Cele reopens Mthatha taxi routes
Minibus taxis in the OR Tambo region are back on the road on Monday morning‚ after Police Minister Bheki Cele agreed to reopen the three major routes and taxi ranks that he shut on March 27.
DispatchLive reported Cele lifted the taxi ban on Friday night‚ a day after he told taxi bosses‚ traditional leaders‚ religious leaders and politicians that he was not convinced that taxi bosses had “sobered up”.
He shut the lucrative routes and ranks as a measure of ending the taxi violence that claimed more than 60 lives in 18 months.
Cele facilitated the signing of the peace agreement by Uncedo Service Taxi Association (Usta) president Ntsikelelo Geahler and Border Alliance Taxi Association (Bata) president Vuyani Mshiywa during a meeting at the PRD Building in Mthatha.
They agreed to report people who perpetrate‚ incite violence to relevant law enforcement agencies and operate in taxi ranks controlled and managed by the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality.
Gaehler and Mshiywa committed their respective associations to peace and unity.
Failure to comply with the peace agreement‚ a taxi owner will be de-registered as a taxi operator‚ their operating license withdrawn and subjected to the full might of the law.
Cele warned that the government would closely monitor the activities of taxi operations.