South Africa: Taxi Wars Spiralling Out of Control Despite Efforts for Peace, Inquiry Told

On the first day of the Commission of Inquiry into taxi violence in Gauteng, it emerged that solving the violence in the industry would take a lot more than suspending taxi operations and closing taxi ranks in affected areas. The absence of law enforcement around the taxi industry also came under sharp scrutiny.

Taxi violence in Gauteng was spiralling out of control despite efforts to contain and address it. This was the admission of Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo, one of the first witnesses to give testimony at the first sitting of the Commission of Inquiry into Taxi Violence in Parktown, Johannesburg on Thursday.

Mamabolo has been central to trying to defuse a feud between two taxi associations in Soweto -- the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (Nanduwe) and the Witwatersrand Taxi Association (Wata).

He said interacting with leaders of the two associations revealed just how deep and widespread the problems in the taxi industry ran.

"It became clear that the problems affected many other taxi associations. The associations said the main problem was corruption in the issuing of permits and operating licences," Mamabolo said.

Mamabolo said as his department was dealing with Nanduwe and Wata, violence broke out...

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