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WCape eyes tech to curb taxi-related murders, violence

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The Western Cape provincial government has set its sights on the use of technology to curb the increasing taxi-related violence.

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works says it will introduce a marking system and technology solutions to identify legal minibus taxi operators in the province.

“Following an increase in taxi-related murders over the last few weeks in Ceres, Bellville, Mbekweni, Nyanga and other areas, I called on the leadership of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) and ‘mother-bodies’ CATA [Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association] and Codeta [Cape Organisation for the Democratic Taxi Association] to rein in their members and to identify those elements who are contributing to the crimes and violent conflict,” says Bonginkosi Madikizela, transport and public works MEC for Western Cape, in a statement.

According to the province, since January 2020, there have been 25 taxi-related murders and 11 cases of attempted murder.

These include cases in Mbekweni, Delft, Bellville, Bloekombos, Ceres and Nyanga. All of the cases involve either CATA and/or Codeta affiliated associations, Madikizela says.

He notes that officials from the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works are working closely with the SAPS to identify the common thread that seems to be running through all of the recent cases of murder and attempted murder.

According to Madikizela, in discussions between officials from his department and Santaco, it was agreed the department will assist the industry leadership through providing an independent mediator to facilitate talks between CATA and Codeta affiliated groups who are at the centre of the violence.

“I instructed officials from my department to assist the SAPS and traffic authorities by introducing technology solutions, including a marking system, to identify legal operators so that illegally operating taxis are easily identifiable for enforcement purposes.

“This follows appeals by legal taxi operators for assistance from enforcement authorities with regards to infiltration by illegal operators onto their already saturated routes and ranks.”

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