The IFP believes that it is time for the KZN MEC of Transport, Mxolisi Kaunda to devise a new comprehensive plan to address ongoing taxi violence in the province.
This comes after a gun battle in Mandeni, north of Durban that resulted in six vehicles being torched. Police are currently investigating but it remains unclear who was behind the shooting.
Eyewitness reports suggest that the shooting may be linked to taxi associations in the area. The IFP believes that taxi violence should not be treated lightly but be treated as a priority crime. It cannot be business as usual as too many people have lost their lives due to taxi violence and the lives of commuters are placed daily at risk.
This has to be curbed and faith restored into the beleaguered industry. It is clear that local authorities have failed to come up with tangible solutions to end the violence. The national and provincial authorities should urgently intervene and seek lasting and effective solutions to the perennial taxi wars.
Concrete solutions are needed to address the conflicts that permeate the taxi industry. There should be highly effective enforcement which will contribute to commuter safety as well as end the vicious cycle of violence in the industry.
There is no place for trigger-happy and lawless elements who are responsible for destabilising the industry, putting the lives of all road users at risk. These elements must be isolated and rooted out. We must know the difference between 'chance-takers', the so called izinkabi or hitmen and those who earn a legitimate income from operating taxis.
The IFP reiterates its call for a commission of inquiry into the ongoing KZN taxi violence. This commission should also examine the root cause of the violence and the challenges faced by this industry. Issues such as taxi warlords who continue to order the killings and who are involved in other criminal activity, disputes over routes and government response towards the need of the taxi industry should form part of the investigation.
Following the recent shooting in the Mandeni taxi rank, the IFP demands a thorough investigation into the guns used in the shooting.
Contact: Hon. Steven Moodley MPL,
IFP KZN spokesperson on Transport
083 253 2277