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Ndebele speaks out on Cape taxi strike violence

by BuaNews Online
on 14 Mar 2011
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has committed to ensuring that the Western Cape taxi dispute is resolved as soon as possible.

"As government, our mandate is to ensure safe, efficient and reliable public transport and violence and intimidation will not be tolerated... The right of citizens to reliable and safe public transport cannot be compromised. The commuter is the most important person and mutual respect is of paramount importance," said the minister on Monday.

Media reports said one man was killed and a four-year-old girl was injured by a rubber bullet when the taxi strike in Cape Town turned violent. Buses were reportedly stoned, leaving passengers injured, while other vehicles were burnt.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said they were unhappy about issues such as the impounding of taxis and delays in issuing operators' permits. Talks between Santaco and the provincial transport department did not bear fruit, leading to the strike today.

"As the national Department of Transport, we have been engaging with the Ministry of Police as well as Santaco and we will do everything to ensure that the current taxi dispute in the Western Cape is resolved amicably as soon as possible.

"We will continue to engage with all stakeholders, including the Western Cape Provincial Government, Santaco, labour and business," said Ndebele.

The City of Cape Town and the provincial government of the Western Cape have strongly condemned the violence and intimidation. - BuaNews

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