Chaos at Bellville taxi rank after violence leads to closure

South Africa

Closure of the Bellville taxi rank this week because of violence last week has left commuters to the chaos of a temporary rank along the road.

MEC says the rank will only be reopened when it is deemed safe. Now taxis are making do with a temporary rank.

Two commuters were injured and hospitalised during violence that broke out last week between the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA), the affiliated Bellville Taxi Association (BELLTA) and the Bloekombos-Wallacedene Taxi Association (BLOEWATA).

Western Cape MEC for transport and public works Donald Grant said on 22 September that the rank had been closed after consultation with the South African Police Service and the Taxi Registrar.

On Monday afternoon Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for Grant, said the rank would stay closed “until such time as the authorities have made a determination as to whether it is safe again for the rank to be reopened”.

On Monday, when GroundUp made a follow-up, it was chaotic, conductors  were found calling out their routes, some lifting up posters reading: Mowbray, Mitchells Plain, Philippi, Nyanga, Delft and Belhar. There was a heavy presence of Metro Police. Cape Town taxis were operating from Voortrekker road. Traders selling sweets, chips, fruit and braaied meat inside the taxi rank had moved to the pavement along Robert Sobukwe Road.

CATA spokesperson Andile Seyamo, which operates on the Nyanga-Parow route, said negotiations between Bellta and Bloewata were under way. CATA hoped to resolve the issue by next week, he said.


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