South Africa

THE WHEEL DEAL

Gauteng taxi violence commission kicks off with a promise of action

Gauteng taxi violence commission kicks off with a promise of action
Daily Maverick Archive Photo: Police officers stand guard during a protest by taxi operators in Gauteng. Daily Maverick Archive Photo: Police officers stand guard during a protest by taxi operators.

The Shongwe Commission of Inquiry into taxi violence in Gauteng is up and running and is calling on interested parties to come forward.

There has been a plethora of commissions set up to drill into various issues that plague South Africa,  but the Commission of Inquiry into Taxi Violence in Gauteng will deliver tangible results. That’s the promise from the chair of the commission, Justice Jeremiah Shongwe.

You and I are swimming in the same pool … I haven’t seen results [from other commissions]. Therefore, as far as I’m concerned this is the commission that will produce the results,” said Justice Shongwe.

The commission was set up by Gauteng Premier David Makhura in September 2019 to investigate the underlying causes and people behind the ongoing killings in the taxi industry in the province. It is funded by the Gauteng government and headed by Justice Shongwe, with Rudolph Mabece and Hlula Msimang as the two commissioners. Dimakatso Selesho is commission secretary.

The commission’s task, among others, is to make findings with reference to the number, nature, locality and patterns of incidents of conflict, violence, fatalities and instability involving sections of the public, both as victims and suspects in the Gauteng province,” said Justice Shongwe.

The decision to appoint the commission was taken during the second Gauteng Taxi Summit held on 24 and 25 July 2019. This was at the behest of people in the taxi industry, who were concerned that the industry was convulsed by violence. Despite efforts by law enforcement agencies and government, violence continues to escalate

The mandate of the commission is to inquire into and investigate, make findings, report on, and make recommendations on:

  • The underlying reasons for the recurring conflict, violence, fatalities and instability within the minibus taxi-type service industry within Gauteng;
  • The activities of operators, legal and illegal, as well as any other group or person that contributes to the recurring conflict, violence, fatalities and instability;
  • The provision of minibus taxi transport services authorised by both interchange-based and direct route-based permits and licences; and
  • How the minibus taxi business model, including the formation and management of minibus taxi associations, contributes to the recurring conflict, violence, fatalities and instability.

The commission has been given six months to complete its work and submit its report and recommendations in writing.

It will start sitting from as early as next week, with 4 December 2019 mooted as a possible date for its official commencement. All hearings will take place at its official base, Emoyeni Conference Centre in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Members of the public, community organisations, minibus taxi associations, drivers, operators, conductors and rank marshals who have information which may be relevant to the commission and who want to give evidence are invited to contact the commission secretary.

Contact details are via email on [email protected] or through their website. DM

 

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