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A trilingual open letter to Premier Winde regarding Cap...

Maverick Citizen

CAPE TOWN AT WAR

A trilingual open letter to Premier Winde regarding Cape Town taxi violence

A general view of the Cape Town Station Deck after an alleged shooting incident involving rival taxi drivers on July 14, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

While Cape Town has not seen the same unrest that has impacted KZN and Gauteng recently, the past week has still been a damning reminder that the current situation is broken and unsustainable. Without a functioning economy, the city won’t need to be looted. It will simply implode on itself.

Dear Premier, Alan Winde and Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato and other stakeholders of the private and public sector,

As communities from across Cape Town, we are horrified at the lack of support and protection for residents in this city up until now. People who not only call Cape Town home but who provide vital services to all who live here were abandoned and left to walk through the cold night and harrowing conditions just to make their way home. Some are still stranded with no way to return to their loved ones. Many vital services like those in the health sector, are coming to a standstill and local businesses are struggling further.

Our city belongs to all who live and work here, and good people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake at a time when our country is already in a precarious economic and political place. Every day that the Province and City fail to act, brings us another step closer to the edge.

Where are the police to protect the people? Where is the support for those who keep this city alive and functioning?

We note and appreciate your statement of 20 July regarding mediation, policing, and potential transport-centred solutions. In addition to these interventions, we implore you to collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders to provide safe accommodation for those stranded by the ongoing taxi violence which will protect their safety and allow them to continue to provide vital services and earn a living at this difficult time. We came together for UCT students after the fire, we can do it again.

The functioning and safety of our roads and broader public transport system must be a priority, particularly because we have not yet succeeded to bring people back into this city from which they were removed in the past. While Cape Town has not seen the same unrest that has impacted KZN and Gauteng recently, the past week has still been a damning reminder that the current situation is broken and unsustainable. Without a functioning economy, the city won’t need to be looted. It will simply implode on itself.

As ordinary residents who recognise this, we are challenging ourselves and our neighbours to stand with our fellow Capetownians by opening our doors and as far as possible paying employees who need to stay home. However, our reach is limited.

You are not alone, but you are our leaders and we look to you for large-scale solutions to this social crisis.

Currently Cata and Codeta are holding the collective communities on the Cape Flats and drivers, from outside their associations, hostage, yet these organisations are the only ones being communicated with. Local communities have the solutions but lack the legislative platforms to participate in our new democracy and it is in this spirit that we implore you to connect with communities directly. 

Help us to help ourselves

***

Nkulumbuso, Mnumzana Alan Winde noSodolophu waseKapa, uDan Plato nabanye abachaphazelekayo kwicandelo labucala nelikarhulumente, Siyabulisa,

Njengoluntu lwase eKapa,Sothukile kukusilela kwenkxaso kunye nokhuseleko kubahlali kwesi sixeko kude kube ngoku. Abantu abangabizi iKapa ngekhaya kuphela, kodwa ababonelela ngemisebenzi ebalulekileyo kubo bonke abahlala apha, bashiyiwe ukuba bahambe kubusuku obubandayo kwaye bajongana neemeko ezimbi ukuze bafike kumakhaya abo. Abanye bashiyeke bengenandlela yokubuyela kwabo babathandayo. Imisebenzi emininzi ebalulekileyo njengaleyo yezempilo, izokuma kwaye amashishini avela kweli ayasokola.

Isixeko sethu sesabo bonke abahlala nabasebenza apha, kwaye ubomi babantu abalungileyo kunye nendlela yokuphila zisemngciphekweni ngexesha apho ilizwe lethu sele likwimeko enzima kwezoqoqosho nakwezopolitiko. Yonke imihla apho iPhondo neSixeko zisilela ekuthatheni amanyathelo, zisisondeza kwelinye inyathelo ecaleni. Aphi amapolisa okukhusela abantu? Iphi inkxaso kwabo bagcina esi sixeko siphila kwaye sisebenza kuso?

Siyayiqaphela kwaye siyayixabisa ingxelo yakho yomhla wama-20 kuJulayi malunga nolamlo,umsebenzi wamapolisa, kunye nezisombululo zothutho. Ukongeza kolu ngenelelo, Siyakubongoza ukuba usebenzisane neChamber of Commerce kunye nabanye abathathi-nxaxheba ukubonelela ngendawo ekhuselekileyo kwabo bavaleleke kubundlobongela beeteksi, izakukhusela kwaye ibavumele ukuba baqhubeke ngokubonelela ngemisebenzi ngeli xesha linzima. Besikunye nabafundi base-UCT ngexesha lomlilo, singaphinda sibe kunye kwakhona.

Ukusebenza kunye nokukhuseleka kweendlela zethu kunye nenkqubo yothutho loluntu ngokubanzi kufuneka ibe yinto ephambili, kuba asikaphumeleli ukubuyisa abantu kwesi sixeko basuswe kuso ngaphambili.Ngelixa iKapa lingakhange libone izidubedube ezifanayo nezeKZN naseGauteng kutshanje,Iveki ephelileyo ibisisikhumbuzo sokuba imeko yangoku yophukile kwaye ayinakulondolozeka. Ngaphandle koqoqosho olusebenzayo, isixeko asizukufuna ukuphangwa. Luya kuzinza ngokwayo.

Njengabahlali abaqhelekileyo abakuqondayo oku, sizicelela umngeni thina kunye nabamelwane bethu ukuba sime nabanye abantu baseKapa ngokuvula iingcango zethu kwaye sihlawule kangangoko sinako abasebenzi abadinga ukuhlala emakhaya. Nangona kunjalo, ukufikelela kwethu kulinganiselwe. Awukho kunye, kodwa nina niziinkokheli zethu kwaye sijonge kuni kwizisombululo ezikhulu kule ngxaki yentlalo.

Okwangoku iCata kunye neCodeta zibambe uluntu oluhlangeneyo kwiCape Flats, nabaqhubi abangeyonxalenye yemibutho yabo babanjiwe, ngabo kuphela ekunxityelelwana nabo. uluntu lunezisombululo kodwa luswele amaqonga ezomthetho okuthatha inxaxheba kwidemokhrasi yethu entsha Kwaye kulomoya ukuba siyakubongoza ukuba unxibelelane noluntu ngqo. Sincede sizinced

***

Geagte Premier Alan Winde en die Burgermeester van Kaapstad, Dan Plato en ander privaat en publieke belanghebbendes,

As gemeenskappe regoor Kaapstad is ons met afgryse vervul oor die mislukking van die stadsraad om inwoners van die stad tot dus ver te beskerm. Mense wat nie net hier bly nie, maar ook uiters belangrike dienste verskaf aan almal wat hier leef en tog is hulle verwerp en geforseer om deur koue winternagte, en in uiters onveilige toestand huis toe te loop. Baie word nog steeds agtergelaat, met geen manier om tuis by hulle geliefdes uit te kom nie. Lewensbelangrike dienste, soos die in die gesondsheidssektor, word nou tot stilstand geroep en plaaslike besighede sukkel boonop voort.

Ons stad behoort aan almal wat hier werksaam en woonagtig is, en goeie mense se lewens en heenkome is nou bedreig, juis op n tyd wanneer ons lewensomstandighede afhang van verskeie knelpunte wat ons al hoe meer in ‘n hoekie dryf agv ekonomiese en politieke besluite.Ons lewe op die randjie van ineenstorting, en wil nie graag die afgrond inploeg nie, maar elke dag wat die Provinsie en Stad versuim om te reageer, bring ons nog ‘n stap nader daaraan. Waar is ons polisiemag om die mense te beskerm? Waar is die ondersteuning vir die wat lewe in ons stad blaas?

Ons is bewus van en waardeer die persverklaring van 20 Julie aangaande bemiddeling, polisiering, en vervoer-verwante oplossings wat vrygestel is. Ons smeek u om die situasie onmiddelik aan te spreek deur met die Kamer van Koophandel en ander belanghebbendes saam te werk om veilige verblyf te verskaf vir die wat vasgevang is in die nimmer eindige taxi geweld, sodat hulle veilig kan wees en bemagtig kan word om nie net lewensbelangrike dienste te versorg nie, maar ook hul eie noodsaaklike inkomstes te verdien. Ons het saamgestaan vir die UCT studente na die vuur, ons kan dit weer doen.

Die veiligheid en funksionering van die stad se paaie en publieke vervoerstelsel moet ‘n prioriteit gemaak word, veral omdat ons na al die jare nog steeds nie daarin geslaag het om mense wat in die verlede uit die stad gedryf is, terug te bring nie. Terwyl Kaapstad nie onlangs dieselfde onrus as KZN en Gauteng beleef het nie, is die laaste week steeds ‘n verdoemende herinnering dat die huidige situasie breekbaar en nie volhoubaar is nie. Sonder ‘n werkende ekonomie hoef die stad nie geplunder te word nie. Dit sal doodeenvoudig net self inmekaar stort.

As alledaagse inwoners wat dit besef, daag ons onsself en ons bure uit om met ons mede Kapenaars saam te staan, om ons deure oop te maak waar ons kan en sover moontlik werkers wat by die huis moet bly, te betaal. Tog is ons reik baie beperk.

Julle is nie alleen nie, maar julle is ons leiers en ons is afhanklik van julle om op ‘n groot skaal oplossings vir hierdie sosiale krisis te bewerk.

Huidiglik, hou Cata en Codata die gemeenskappe van die Kaapse Vlaktes en bestuurders wat nie lede van hulle verenigings is nie, gyselaar. En tog is hulle die enigstes met wie daar gepraat word. Plaaslike gemeenskappe het wel oplossings, maar word nie die wetgewende forum gegee om deel te neem aan ons nuwe demokrasie nie. Dit is in die gees wat ons u vra om direk met gemeenskappe te praat. Help ons asseblief om onsself te help. DM/MC

Signed/endorsed by:

Bellville South Community Action Network (Can); Bishop Lavis Can; Bokaap Can; CBD Gardens Can; Constantia Can; Canployment; Delft, Bluedowns Can; Brackenfell, Kraaifontein Can; Dunoon Can; Endlovini Can; Ekuphumleni Can; Goodwood Can; Gugulethu Can; Hanover Park Can; Harare Can, Khayelitsha; Heideveld Can; KenFac Can; Kuilsrivier Can; Kommetjie Can; Langa Can; Mfuleni Can; Muizenberg Can; New Crossroads Can; Newlands Can; New Monwabisi Can; Noordhoek, Fish Hoek Can; Parkwood Can, Fairways; Phillipi East Can; Rosebank, Mowbray Can; Seaboard Can; Site B Can, Khayelitsha; Chris-Hani Can, Site C, Khayelitsha; Site C Can, Khayelitsha; Tafelsig-Mitchellsplein Can; Tamboerskloof Can; Thambo village Can; Woodstock, Saltriver, and District Six Can; Wynberg Can; Zwelitsha Can

See website: https://capetowntogether.net/open-letter/taxi-violence

Co-sign publicly:  https://forms.gle/H4yQFoRxoRXdouNGA

Co-sign anonymously: https://tinyurl.com/ykecmwwx

Join a Can and take action locally: https://capetowntogether.net/resources/getinvolved

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All Comments 4

  • An excellent set of suggestions and requests.
    What would also help greatly would be to get our trains working properly again – this would require ongoing surveillance and protection to prevent vandalism and equipment theft (and sabotage?).

    • Train sabotage by the taxi boss gangsters, presumably. Burning down whole carriages, sometimes several at the same time, is not a job the average tsotsi could do. It requires some degree of (crminal) intelligence, like looting warehouses rather than liquor stores and supermarkets. The individual taxi driver may be a nuisance, their bosses are the danger!

  • The taxi business is one of the few businesses in the world that continues to get away with treating their customers like absolute s**t. The people of Cape Town should stop allowing this abuse. Fix the trains and expand MyCiti. Ask any man on the street: we all support trains and MyCiti. If the taxi drivers don’t want business, why give it to them? It’s absurd that the city is even engaging with them. What about rather engaging with the customers and offering and alternative?

    • Not the only ones – look at the cellphone “companies” and many others. But absolutely right, the violent criminality the taxi “industry” displays makes it quite unique. Taking them on would be a major effort that a dysfunctional state is unlikely to succeed with – they will threaten or bribe their way through.

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