The department of Community Safety and Transport Management condemns the use of illegal transport operations in Mahikeng and encourages communities to utilize authorized public transport.
The Departmental MEC, Dr Mpho Motlhabane send a strong warning to those operating without operating licenses and said the Department will conduct a special clampdown operation in order to close all hiking spots and illegal transport operators in Mahikeng.
” We are not going to allow our people to be transported with vehicles that do not have operating permits. These illegal operators put the lives of our people in danger and we will not allow this,” he said.
He said the department has declared war on illegal and unauthorised taxi operators in Mahikeng. “This concerted program is deliberately geared towards ‘reclaiming of our streets and roads campaign,’ in line with a clear government position of Repositioning, Rebranding and Renewal of Bokone Bophirima Province in general and Mahikeng in particular,” explained Motlhabane.
The department has recently noticed that the phenomenon of Ditlhogwana, hiking and illegal taxi operations seems to have become a norm and somewhat persistent. This follows mushrooming of unofficial ranks which are being operated through stubbornness, violence and aggressiveness.
“This has become a Road Safety and Passenger Transport hazard and a nest for manifestation of public transport conflicts that are often characterised by high speed chases, passengers being harassed and taxi violence erupting.
Our law enforcement officials together with South African Police Service officers and Taxi conflict unit are on the ground, working around the clock to clamp down all these illegal operations as well as close down all the unofficial ranks established all over Mahikeng, such as the one operating near near the Caltex garage in town, Cookes Lake gates and Bophelong turn near Danville en route Lichtenburg,” he warned.
Another unofficial ranks are operated near Mahikeng Primary and Secondary School and Stadium as well as outside the Sasol garage in Reviera Park en route Zeerust, N18 road and near Stadt Village robots, opposite the Airport road junction along and en route Vryburg.
“My office is worried about sporadic taxi conflicts in general and we are monitoring and intervening in all reported cases. We cannot afford another simmering tension affecting the public transport, especially the Taxi industry which we could face, if not careful. We will not fold our arms and do nothing.”
Ours, as a government is not only to maintain peace and stability in order to ensure that law and order is not compromised but to issue operating licenses and permits to deserving operators who made applications.
“We will not shy away from being tough on those illegal public transport, hiking lords and pirates using seven (7) to nine (9) seater Avanza’s, Bakkies’, Verso’s and unauthorised normal taxi’s. We will impound these vehicles and slap them with heavy traffic fines. We are also contemplating the amendment of the law to ensure that all repeat offenders will have their vehicles impounded. Such vehicles should only be returned after a legal process would have concluded in favour of the operator, otherwise the car should be ceded to the state”.
“We cannot afford this state of lawlessness and deliberate paralysis. This must stop and people must make applications to the department through proper channels if they want to operate public transportation. No one will be allowed to wake up and operate, wily nily, as if the government is helpless.” Concluded Motlhabane.
This clampdown campaigns started mid-July 2017 and will continue until those ranks are closed permanently.