Gauteng Premier David Makhura has appointed a Commission of Inquiry into minibus and taxi-type service violence, fatalities and instability in Gauteng.
"The inquiry will investigate the underlying causes and people behind the ongoing killings in the taxi industry in the province," said Gauteng Provincial Government spokesperson Thabo Masebe on Sunday.
The commission will be chaired by Justice Jeremiah Buti Shongwe, with Rudolph Lungile Mabece and Hlula Msimang as members of the commission. Dimakatso Mamiki Selesho will be Secretary to the commission
The establishment of the commission follows the commitment made by the Premier to appoint a commission of inquiry in July during the second Gauteng Taxi Summit.
"The Gauteng Provincial Government is concerned that the taxi industry is submerged in violence which, despite efforts by law enforcement agencies and government, continues to worsen," said Masebe.
The taxi industry transports more than 75% of commuters during the daily peak hour period which makes it the dominant mode of transport used by commuters in the province.
The commission will look into and investigate, make findings, report on and make recommendations concerning the following aspects:
- The underlying reasons for the recurring conflict, violence, fatalities and instability within the minibus taxi-type service industry within the Gauteng province;
- The activities of operators, legal and illegal, as well as any other group or person that contributes to the recurring conflict, violence, fatalities and instability;
- The provision of minibus taxi transport services authorised by both interchange based and direct route-based permits and licences;
- How the minibus taxi business model, including the formation and management of minibus taxi associations, contributes to the recurring conflict, violence fatalities and instability; and
- Any other matters that are ancillary or related to the above matters.
Premier Makhura has given the commission six months to complete its work and submit its report and recommendations in writing.
In addition, the commission may, where necessary refer those implicated to law enforcement agencies for further investigation or prosecution.
The provincial government called on anyone with information on the taxi violence to give evidence to the commission.
"Any person or section of the public, including community organisations, minibus taxi associations, drivers, operators, conductors and rank marshals, who or which is in possession of information which may be relevant to matters to be enquired into by the commission and wishes to give evidence before the commission is invited to contact the Secretary of the commission," said Masebe.
The Secretary of the commission is set to announce the contact details of the commission in due course.