Gauteng Premier David Makhura has set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the underlying causes and people behind the ongoing killings in the taxi industry across the province.
"Gauteng Premier David Makhura has, in terms of section 127(2)(e) of the Constitution of Republic of South Africa, 1996, and section 2(1) of the Provincial Commissions Act, 1997 (Act No. 1 of 1997), appointed the Commission of Inquiry into Minibus Taxi-Type Service Violence, Fatalities and Instability in Gauteng," spokesperson Thabo Masebe said in a statement on Sunday.
The commission, to be chaired by Justice Jeremiah Buti Shongwe, with Rudolph Lungile Mabece and Hlula Msimang, comes after Makhura made the commitment 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," Masebe explained.
This violence affects an industry which transports more than 75% of commuters during the daily peak hour period, making it the dominant mode of transport used by commuters in the province, he further added.
The commission will inquire, investigate, make findings, report on and make recommendations on the following:
- The underlying reasons for the recurring conflict, violence, fatalities and instability within the minibus taxi-type service industry within Gauteng;
- 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 matters set out in paragraphs (a) to (d).
The commission has been afforded six months to complete its work and submit its findings and recommendations in writing.
"In addition, the commission may, where necessary, refer those implicated to law enforcement agencies for further investigation or prosecution," Masebe added.
The Gauteng government has further called on members of the public - including community organisations, minibus taxi associations, drivers, operators, conductors and rank marshals - who are in possession of information which may be relevant to matters being investigated by the commission, and wish to give evidence before the commission, to contact the secretary, Dimakatso Mamiki Selesho.
The contact details for the commission will be announced in due course.