19 September 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Clampdown continues on illegal hiking spots and taxi operationsĀ 

by: Palesa Ntshotsho   date: 25 May 2018

An operation to clampdown on hiking spots and illegal taxi operations was recently held in and around Vryburg, as a continuation of the clampdown that started in Mahikeng last year.

Hiking spots and illegal taxi ranks were accused of working with law enforcement officers who did not give legal operators space to operate.

The objective of the sporadic, random and continuous operations was to put an end to hiking spots while at the same time encouraging commuters to use official taxi ranks and utilizing legal operators with operating permits. Illegal operators did not only rob the state of maximum revenue collection, but were also a road menace and account for a spike in taxi violence and conflicts.

Within an hour of the clampdown blitz, one car was impounded and three vehicle owners were fined for operating scholar transport without permits. One driver was nabbed for operating a kombi with worn-out tyres. One permit was discontinued and the driver was fined for driving without a license.

Community Safety and Transport Management MEC, Mpho Motlhabane, was pleased with the outcome of the operation. 

“Hiking spots are a concern in the province and the public needs to work together with taxi operators to save lives. Communities must desist from using illegal taxi operators and avoid hiking spots at all cost. From here we are going to other places in the province such as Wolmaransstad, Klerksdorp and Rustenburg with the same vigor to clamp down on hiking spots," he said. 

While in the area, the MEC met with the executive leadership of all taxi associations operating in and around Huhudi. The meeting held at the SAPS Lapa Building in Vryburg, discussed the memorandum that the taxi associations had handed to the MEC earlier this year.

The memorandum contained complaints and concerns regarding illegal public transport operations, hiking spots, issues of non-members of associations getting permits, Transport Appeals Tribunal overturning rejected applications for permits and licenses, new routes establishment, scholar transport operators operating as taxis, cross-border taxi operations and an envisaged merger of taxi associations.

In his response, the MEC said he resolved to continue with a moratorium on issuing of permits and operating licenses. The meeting however, agreed to process those applications not affected by the moratorium.

Taxi associations agreed to stop making threats of violence and would instead engage in a dialogue, whilst the MEC committed to elevate the matter of the Transport Appeals Tribunal rulings and arbitration awards.  

Motlhabane reiterated that inspectorate functions needed to be reinforced and manned, and that taxi operations be monitored closely.

“Maybe you are right, we also need to convene a District and Provincial Taxi Summit to deal with matters of this industry holistically. I am committing my department to undertake that exercise programmatically,” concluded the MEC.