JOHANNESBURG, March 14 – Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi on Thursday urged Soweto commuters who rely on the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (Nanduwe) and Witwatersrand Taxi Association (Wata) to make alternative transport arrangements.
This in anticipation of the planned closure of taxi ranks and routes operated by the two warring minibus taxi associations.
Vadi indicated that six specific taxi ranks and routes in Soweto will be shut down from Friday for a period of three months.
Vadi said commuters were advised to make use of alternative public transport such as the Metrorail train service or municipal and provincial buses such as the Putco and Rea Vaya services.
“Soweto residents and commuters normally using Wata and Nanduwe taxis along the affected ranks and routes are advised to make alternative transport arrangements as these ranks will be closed,” said Vadi.
“The closure of these taxi ranks/routes arises from the on-going conflict and violence between members of Wata and Nanduwe. It is necessary to shut down their minibus taxi services for the safety of commuters and residents of Soweto,” said Vadi.
“The department is fully aware that the decision taken will inconvenience commuters and residents in affected areas, however, the safety of commuters and residents comes first,” said Vadi.
“As the person responsible for public transport in the province, I am concerned about the safety of commuters and the general public. I firmly believe that the closure of the said routes and ranks is now necessary to achieve normality in the declared area.”
He also welcomed efforts being made by the National Taxi Alliance to broker a peace agreement between the warring taxi associations, saying he was willing to consider further constructive representations on the matter. (ANA)