The Western Cape province has made an official request for a deployment of more soldiers to quell the ongoing taxi violence in the province.
The soldiers are assisting law enforcement officials to bring stability in the affected routes.
At least 24 people have been killed in the past two weeks in an ongoing feud linked to warring taxi associations, the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (CODETA).
Golden Arrow Bus Service is offering limited service after one of the drivers was shot in the face near Nyanga.
High-level talks are taking place around the province in a bid to end the ongoing violence. Fewer taxis were operating on Wednesday, many concerned for their safety as negotiations continued.
Law enforcement officials conducted search operations in some taxi ranks and escorted some taxi and busses along affected routes to ensure safety.
Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, says he envisages double the current number of soldiers to bolster the law enforcement.
“I have also engaged with the military, to say, can we have some more. I am not asking for thousands but any extra few help in a bus depot or taxi rank or on a route. This is really to bolster the police, it’s actually the police’s job but we have two few overall so this will help the police to keep safe. I cannot have citizens living in fear”.
The deadly feud between taxi associations CATA and CODETA is over the routes between Mbekweni and Bellville.
It has now spilled over to affect other modes of transport with Golden Arrow Bus Service has been the hardest hit.
One of its drivers was shot and injured on the N2 near Nyanga this week.
Golden Arrow CEO, Francois Meyer, says they have suffered significant losses.
“In the last two weeks we have experienced roughly 50 stoning of our busses. We have ten incidents where a shots were fired at our busses. Three of our drivers have been wounded. We have suffered a lot of damage as well. We have had one of our supervisory vehicles hijacked and supervisors assaulted.”
Despite the interventions of Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, and an independent mediator the associations have failed to find a resolution.
The negotiations have been referred for arbitration, with recommendations expected by the 28 of this month.
Source: SABC News