Taxi Industry - Just Another Destabilising Force for the Country's Turbulent Future

By Stephen Grootes

In South Africa, almost every day brings disruption or outright violence caused by what has come to be known as the taxi industry. For millions of people, using minibus taxis and paying cash upon entry is the easiest, quickest, and usually only way of getting around. But in the last few months it appears that tensions in the industry have increased, resulting in even more deathly violence, the reasons for which have to do both with the internal dynamics within the industry, and with the external context in which it finds itself. The rise of apparent uncontrollable taxi violence may be a symptom of something much bigger playing out in our society: the fact that government cannot actually exert itself.

Thinkers going back at least to 1918, like Max Weber, and people writing more recently (Francis Fukuyama) have stated that one of the conditions of a geographical space being defined as a nation state is whether the government of that...

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