eThekwini public transport suspended until further notice

Amanda Khoza

Durban – A decision has been taken to suspend all public transport in the eThekwini Municipality after 300 vehicles were impounded at the weekend.

Head of communication Tozi Mthethwa said the decision was taken after a meeting between the taxi industry and the city on Monday.

At the meeting it was resolved that there would be no buses, taxis and metered taxis operating in the city with immediate effect until the impounded vehicles were released, explained Mthethwa.

She said at the weekend the Metro Police impounded 305 vehicles, including 163 minibus taxis, 120 meter taxis, 18 Durban Transport Municipal Buses, and four private buses.

“EThekwini Municipality will continue to enforce the rule of law without fear or favour and impound all vehicles in the city operating without valid route permits.

“The Municipality wishes to clarify that there is no standing agreement between the city and members of the taxi industry that minibus taxis will not be impounded for failure to produce valid route permits.”

Mthethwa said all impounded vehicles would only be released after the offending parties paid an admission of guilt fine through the courts.

"In previous meetings with the city, members of the taxi industry indicated that if there are issues of taxi conflict and violence, they expect Metro Police to enforce the law.

"Transport related law enforcement operations in eThekwini are in line with the National Transport Regulations and the Land Transport Act."

She said the taxi leadership was invited by the city, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport and the police to a meeting on Monday. However, they had declined.

"The city is however still willing to meet with members of the taxi industry to find an amicable solution to the challenges they may be facing."

Mthethwa said law enforcement authorities were out in full force monitoring the situation.

Commuters have been urged to make alternative transport arrangements until further notice.