We won't bow to taxi industry's demands - KZN government
Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal government and the eThekwini Municipality say they will not heed to the taxi industry’s demands of releasing impounded taxis for free.
In a joint statement issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport and the city, the parties said they were trying to expedite the process of releasing the remaining 88 impounded minibuses.
"A proposal by government to ensure that the 85 vehicles are released by Friday September 25, after following the court process, was rejected by members of the taxi industry."
A high level meeting was held between Transport MEC Willies Mchunu, City Manager Sbu Sithole and other government officials on Wednesday and the taxi industry demanded that their vehicles be released by the municipality free of charge.
"However, an impounded vehicle is only released to the owner after following proper legal processes and paying a fine which is determined by the court.
"Since Monday September 21, 81 minibus taxis have been released following the payment of a R1 500 fine if the owner of the vehicle presents a valid route permit. A fine of R3 000 was imposed if owners failed to produce a route permit."
Several commuters have been stranded since members of the taxi industry went on strike after the Metro Police impounded 305 vehicles, including 163 minibuses.
"To minimise the impact on commuters, eThekwini Municipality has requested that the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa) increase the number of trains and Durban Transport Buses are also operating to ferry commuters.
“Law enforcement has been beefed up. Members of the South African Police Service and Metro Police are monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to act swiftly if any incidents of violence flare-up."
Commuters were urged to report any acts of violence, vandalism and intimidation to the Metro Police to 031 361 0000 and 10111.