Makhura accused of fuelling Mamelodi tensions

The premier stands by his statements that govt will send the military to Mamelodi if necessary.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura addressing Mamelodi citizens. Picture: EWN.

MAMELODI - Taxi operators in Mamelodi have accused Gauteng Premier David Makhura of fueling tensions between themselves and newly appointed bus operator Autopax.

Yesterday, Makhura addressed locals on government's plans to ensure safe public transport in the area which includes firm action against taxi operators interfering with bus operations.

But members of Mamelodi's Taxi Associations claim they're being unfairly treated.

Makhura says he stands behind his statements that government will send the military to Mamelodi if necessary.

#Putco Hundreds of locals have gathered for the address by Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa and Premier David Makhura. DB

"You are saying government must sit down with people and agree that people must have their way. That can't happen."

Mamelodi Transport Solutions says taxis only want clarity from government on how they will be integrated into new transport plans.

Taxi operators say they were under the impression that they would be government's first consideration once Putco cancelled its bus routes in Mamelodi.

Makhura has vowed to rid the taxi industry of criminal elements after days of violence and intimidation in Mamelodi.

Locals have also reported threats and intimidation by taxi drivers warning them against using the new bus operator.

The premier says he wants to see an end to the violence and lawlessness which still plagues the taxi industry.

"We will find one another with the taxi operators on the issues that have to do with the transformation of the industry, and it will be soon."

Makhura has warned drivers that no amount of intimidation or violence will stop government from implementing its plans around public transport in Mamelodi.

On Friday, a bus driver and four passengers were shot and wounded during transport related clashes in the area.

Meanwhile, Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa says taxi drivers were never promised taking over from Putco routes as they claimed.

Metro police say the situation has returned to normal this morning after Autopax buses were stoned in protests last week.

Ramakgopa says they will continue discussions with the taxi bosses.

"There was no such undertaking. From the discussions we've been having with them, we've expressed our intention to extend the coverage of A Re Yeng [bus service] so it can reach the Mamelodi area to the east of the city."