The operation to clamp down hiking spots and  illegal taxi operations recently took place in and around Vryburg. The operation is a continuation of the clamp down that started in 2017 in Mafikeng.

Hiking spots and illegal taxi ranks were teeming with law enforcement officers who didn’t give this illegal operators space to operate.

The objective of these sporadic, random and continuous operations is to put an end to hiking spots and in the same breath, it is meant to encourage commuters to use official taxi ranks and utilise legal operators who have operating permits. These illegal operators do not only rob the state of collecting maximum revenues but are a road menace and account for a spike in taxi violence and conflicts.

Within an hour of the clampdown blitz; 1 car was impounded, 3 vehicles were fined for lack of permit to scholar transport. 1 car was nabbed for operating a combo with worn out tyres. 1 permit  was continued and  1 was MEC fined for Driving without a Licence.

MEC Motlhabane was very pleased with the outcome of the operation, “hiking spots are a concern in the province and we as the public need to work together with taxi operators to save lives. Communities must desist from using illegal taxi operators and avoid hiking spots at all cost. From here we are going to other places in the province such as Wolmaranstadt, Klerksdorp and Rusternburg with the same vigor to clamp down hiking spots”.

Meanwhile, the MEC proceeded to host an engagement with executive leadership of all the taxi associations operating in and around Huhudi. The meeting held at the SAPS Lapa building in Vryburg discussed the memorandum that the Taxi associations handed to the MEC recently.

This memorandum contained complains and concerns about illegal public transport operations, illegal hiking spots, issues of non-associations members getting permits, Transport Appeals Tribunal overturning  rejected applications for permits and licences, new routes establishment, scholar transport operators operating as taxis, cross border taxi operations and envisaged merger of taxi associations.

This engagement with the MEC was constituted by 5 committee members from each of the 8 Taxi associations operating in Huhudi and the Regional Taxi structure, District Office of the Premier, SAPS officials from District and local police stations and Dr RSM District Municipality.

In response the MEC’s meeting resolved to continue to place a moratorium on issuing of permits and operating licences. The meeting also agreed to process  applications not affected by the MEC moratorium.

Associations agreed to desist from making threats of violence and prefer dialogue instead whilst the MEC committed to elevate the matter of the Transport Appeals Tribunal rulings and arbitration awards.

MEC to, however, proceed with the declared moratorium. Inspectorate functions to be reinforced and manned and taxi operations to be monitored closely.

“Please start considering to diversify your business and venture into value chain business within the sector like; supplying tyres, opening petrol stations, sell spares parts and open vehicle service workshops. “Maybe you are right, we  also need to convening a District and Provincial Taxi Summit to deal with matter of this industry holistically. I am committing my department to undertake that exercise programmatically.” Concluded MEC.

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