Taxi violence in Atteridgeville will soon be a thing of the past, according to Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo.
He made the remark during a visit to the taxi rank in the area where shooting incidents took place last month.
The MEC said following consultation with the taxi industry, he would in the next two weeks make an announcement on the way forward.
“Without pre-empting the work of the police, it is clear that the Atteridgeville/Saulsville Taxi Owners Association is fighting internally and replicating what happened in Mamelodi.
“Internal killings will be dealt with and we will deal with them decisively.”
Mamabolo was, however, tight-lipped about a move to dissolve the association. “The killing must stop because it is the association’s resources being used to kill their own members; they are not using their personal funds.”
He said that in the same way the department had dealt with the Mamelodi Taxi Association by placing it under administration it would do the same if the killings did not stop.
However, Atteridgeville/Saulsville Taxi Owners Association chairperson Frank Moremi defended the organisation and said its members were not complicit in the killings.
“There is a certain group of people who have turned Atteridgeville into a war zone; they are not our members we are not complicit in this spate of violence.”
He said they were having discussions with stakeholders and the police concerning the violence.
Atteridgeville police station head Brigadier Mbangwa Nkhwashu said they had a serious problem on their hands with the violence.
“We are quite concerned but are investigating and tracking down the competing and clashing groups. It is highly sub-judice, hence the MEC is here so we can find a lasting solution to the problem.”
He said arrests were imminent. “In some cases, we have effected arrests and the matters are before the courts; there are those that we are still investigating.”
Nkhwashu warned perpetrators of violence. “The arm of the law is long. We will get to them and they need to cease this behavior. They won’t benefit as they will be nabbed. We are hot on their trail now.”
Mamabolo, in his capacity as acting Health MEC, checked for compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols and lockdown regulations.
“It is quite visible that they are not doing what we expect them to do. My concerns are the deaths and Covid-19.
“Observation is important; it is very clear to me that the taxi rank manager is in hiding as well as the marshals; they are in hiding due to the gun battles that take place here.
“They are unable to do the work of protecting commuters from Covid-19, and what is disrupting them is the violence, and this is having an impact on compliance,” he said.
He also presided over the donation of personal protective equipment at Kalafong Hospital worth R4.5million from Mediclinic, which he said would go a long way in safeguarding front-line healthcare workers.
“Looking at international stats and seeing that some countries relaxed restrictions and now have to them put back in place shows we cannot let the guard down.”
He said Soshanguve, Eersterust, Atteridgeville, and the CBD were still major hot spots and needed to improve on compliance. “The malls and ranks are big concerns and we will be increasing efforts to ensure compliance so we don’t see numbers spiking out of control.”