The minister of transport Joe Maswanganyi and police minister Fikile Mbalula spoke out against the recent violent attacks involving metro taxi operators and e-hailing operators, particularly in the Gauteng province.
The ministers appealed for calm, while government is working on finalising the National Land Transport Act Amendment Bill which is currently before parliament. The Amendment Bill is said to include e-hailing public transport services.
Both ministers also emphasised the provision of the National Land Transport Act on the regulation of road-based public transport. The Act states that no person may operate a road-based public transport service, unless he or she is the holder of an operating licence or a permit, subject to sections 47, 48 and 49 of this Act.
“This regulation therefore means that any operator who operates a public transport service without an operating licence will be violating the law and law enforcement officers will act on such an operator,” the ministers said in a statement.
Maswanganyi and Mbalula condemned the recent violence behaviour and strongly warned the affected parties to immediately seize acts of intimidation and disorder that has engulfed the industry.
“Following this meeting, the law enforcement agencies will be deployed in all the identified hotspots and perpetrators of violence and intimidation will be arrested,” the minister said.
They also appealed to the affected parties to stop any public spats that fuel and prolong the tension and called on members of the public who might have any information that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of these violence attacks to contact their nearest police station.
Both ministers are expected to meet with the meter taxi operators and the e-hailing operators. Details of the meeting will be made available to the public.