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Tuesday / 16 July 2024
HomeNewsSouth African taxi council to form own security company to end violence

South African taxi council to form own security company to end violence

Speaking at the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Taxi Industry Imbizo, South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) Provincial Chairperson Boy Zondi said that the entity has decided to form its own security company in an effort to end the escalating taxi violence in the province and promote a culture of compliance with the law.

In the meantime, the KZN taxi industry in an unprecedented move announced that it has formed a close working relationship with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and that it will partner with existing security firms to assist it in bringing the unnecessary bloodshed under control.

“The first challenge is you wake up in the morning and go to the taxi rank and there are people coming into the association by force and the association doesn’t know what to do,” said Zondi, as reported by Mail & Guardian.

“So, we decided at the AGM [annual general meeting] that we need to form our own security company but, before we can form our own security company, we need to partner with existing security companies who are going to assist us with the problems we are facing.”

Zondi said the province’s taxi ranks are being plagued by criminals who wear branded clothing and pretend that they are there to protect commuters, but instead rob them.

Additionally, he said the illegal collection of money known as “ibhakede” – which is usually controlled by those who are in the leadership of the association – must end as it is the main source of conflict in the industry.

“When we come out of our imbizo, any form of wrong things taking place in our taxi ranks must come to an end. We are not going to leave it to the police anymore, but we are going to catch everyone and take them to the police,” said Zondi.

To this end, Santaco launched a hotline number (066 116 1911) for drivers and operators to “report perpetrators of violence and those who are causing havoc.”

In addition, the chairperson announced that the associations would no longer be recruiting new members due to the oversaturation of the field.

In partnership with the KZN Department of Transport, the industry is also piloting a cashless payment and digital operating license system to enhance safety for its riders, as per Arrive Alive.

Government committed to working with the industry

Addressing delegates at the Imbizo, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety, and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, said the government is committed to working with the industry in addressing sources of violence and conflict.

“The government is serious about ending killings in the industry. We are pleased that the industry is taking this matter head-on. Through these resolutions taken here today, we are positively optimistic that we will change the taxi industry in the province and build a reputable business,” said Hlomuka.

During the discussion, taxi industry stakeholders also called for a review of the role of the security industry and presented areas of intervention and improvement plans to hold security companies accountable.

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