Makhura assures Mamelodi residents of transport order
David Makhura says police will make sure the violence ends following this week's unrest over bus routes.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has assured Mamelodi residents that "order will be restored" in the area following this week's unrest over bus routes.
Taxi drivers have clashed with bus drivers and commuters following the termination of Putco services in several parts of Gauteng including Mamelodi this week.
At the root of it, is unhappiness from taxi drivers with the Gauteng government's awarding of a contract to AutoPax to take over the routes.
AutoPax buses were also pelted with stones as they tried to operate in the township.
Violence escalated on Friday when five people were wounded after a Putco bus was shot at while travelling along Solomon Mahlangu Drive.
Makhura says police will make sure the violence comes to an end.
"The police and law enforcement agencies are going to bring Operation Fiela here."
Makhura says taxi violence is now a priority crime and government will make sure those responsible for attacks will be arrested.
"Mamelodi has been on our eyes with an increase in attacks among taxi owners here."
He says the police presence will increase significantly in Mamelodi as Operation Fiela is implemented.
"It will take as long as it requires stabilising the area. But we are confident that by the end of weekend the situation will have normalised."
Both Provincial and National Government are planning to meet with taxi bosses to discuss the violence.
WATCH: Mamelodi bus commuters left stranded.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said it has called for a meeting with taxi associations in Mamelodi after a two day standoff between bus drivers and taxi operators.
AutoPax, a Prasa subsidiary was due to start a three month long contract this week after Putco cancelled its contracts.
But taxi drivers disrupted operations, leaving commuters in the lurch as they seek to control the routes.
Prasa called for calm in Mamelodi saying commuters have the right to choose between buses and taxis to get to work.
Prasa spokesperson Moffet Mofokeng said the AutoPax contract is only temporary.
"People should be calm, the taxi industry included. At the end, there will be a solution."
He said while the Gauteng Transport Department has met with taxi associations over the past two days, Prasa is taking matters into their own hands.
"Our buses were stoned. The inconvenience on the commuters is heavy. We've decided that we'll meet with the local taxi association."