26 MAY 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EThekwini Condemns Vandalism Of Municipal Assets Associated With The Taxi Industry Strike

EThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo has interrupted the Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting currently taking place at City Hall to talk to members of the taxi industry in the wake of the Taxi Industry strike that has grind traffic flow in the City Centre to a halt.

Nxumalo vehemently condemned the attacking of Municipal buses ferrying passengers to various destinations and other Municipal assets. He urged members of the taxi industry to table their issues through appropriate channels so that they can be addressed.

“As the leadership of eThekwini we are here to listen to your concerns and understand what the issues are which have led to today’s unfortunate events so that we can work together in finding a solution. We are shocked about what is happening as this has put the lives of innocent people at risk. We have received reports that some people were injured after vehicles were stoned and such acts of violence will not be tolerated,” said Nxumalo.

The issues raised by members of the taxi industry during an urgent meeting at the EXCO Boardroom included the difficulty they experience in applying for operating permits, inconsistent processing of cases via the courts and demanded that all the taxi’s that have been impounded be released.

They also alleged that a Metro Police officer drove off with a taxi without explaining the reasons for that and that live ammunition was used to disperse the crowd that had blockaded Dr Pixley Ka Isaka kaSeme (West) Street near City Hall.

The taxi has been subsequently released from the pound and the Municipality is investigating the matter. 

Nxumalo said that the matter relating to permits and any other issue was supposed to have been raised through appropriate platforms to give the City leadership an opportunity to avert the unfortunate situation witnessed in the City Centre today.

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole said members of Metro Police have to enforce the law in eThekwini. 

“The allegations will be investigated including the alleged incident of shooting raised by members of the taxi industry to give us a clear understanding of what actually transpired. As the City Manager I cannot instruct Metro Police not to enforce the law and I cannot interfere with how they conduct their law enforcement operations as long as it is within the ambit of the law,” said Sithole. 

Sithole said the City would go through Metro Police records to ascertain why each vehicle was impounded and get the number of the cars that are still in the pound.

“We can’t take a blanket approach and declare that all cars that have been impounded will be released without understanding the nature of the fine imposed against each vehicle. We will assess each case based on its merit,” said Sithole.

Sithole added that there was no official communication from the taxi industry about issues related to the impounding if vehicles.

“If you have issues with Metro Police you do not have the right to go out and vandalise Municipal assets. Such actions will not be tolerated by government because if we were to allow such actions we would be promoting anarchy which is something we will never agree to in eThekwini,” said Sithole.

ENDS

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 0313114855 or email:gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za​