KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport Mxolisi Kaunda has suspended the operations of two Ladysmith taxi operators as a drastic measure to curb escalating violence in the city.
All taxi operations for the Klipriver and Sizwe Taxi Association in Ladysmith have been suspended for a period of six months effective from 7 December 2017.
Kaunda took the decision following ongoing violence in the region that claimed the lives of 61 people since 2014 particularly on the routes operated by the suspended taxi associations.
According to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport several meetings and interventions made in the region had not produced the desired results which led the MEC to adopt these drastic measures.
Increased bus operations
Kaunda visited various taxi ranks in Ladysmith to ensure that taxis belonging to the two associations were not operating and that the buses provided by government to transport people were operating.
“A joint police and traffic monitoring team has been assembled and will be monitoring developments every hour to ensure that buses are operating smoothly with no disturbances. During my interaction with commuters they raised concerns about the frequency of the buses and I assured them that the Department will interact with bus operators to ensure that they increase the fleet so that people arrive on time at their various work places and destinations,” Kaunda explained.
According to the department commuters thanked government for the intervention as the ongoing killings related to the taxi industry was a great concern. Other taxi associations operating in Ladysmith were operating as usual with no disturbances.