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Santaco to visit Bara taxi rank to tackle gender violence

Santaco’s Bafana Magagula says it will conduct this campaign to teach drivers not only about abuse against women but also the types of abuse.

FILE: Taxis in the Johannesburg CBD. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) will on Friday visit the Bara taxi rank as part of a campaign to raise awareness about women abuse.

The taxi association will be working in partnership with civil rights organisation Sonke Gender Justice.

Earlier this year, Eyewitness News revealed how a woman was raped for hours in a taxi while her 10 year-old-son watched.

Several other cases were reported thereafter.

Santaco’s Bafana Magagula says it will conduct this campaign to teach drivers not only about abuse against women but also the types of abuse.

“Because some are not aware that even verbally they can cause harm and that’s another form of abuse. We just want to make the drivers aware with this campaign on how women need be respected.”

He says he has also begun talks with government on bettering security in the industry.

“Especially the legislation part, once we’re fully legislated, for example, on the Gautrain if you have committed an offence, they’re able to take you straight into the cell.”

Magagula says Santaco has already visited ranks in other in Pretoria and Durban and plans to continue with the campaign throughout the country.

POOR POLICING FUELS RAPE, ABUSE IN GAUTENG TAXIS

The Gauteng community safety department said the recent cases of rape and abuse in taxis were the result of a failure in policing.

A meeting was held in Rosebank on Thursday between the department, Santaco and other civil rights organisations.

Gauteng Community Safety’s Nokuphumla Dineka said the way police treated rape victims caused them to shy away from reporting the crime.

“I think it’s the police. The police are not visible and [they] aren’t receptive.”

At the same time, Magagula said government had been making it difficult for them to better the industry.

“We are fighting with the government. The problems we are facing as organisations; we are fighting to be fully legislated.”

Dineka said the department had conducted a survey around the awareness of services offered at police stations and would release its findings soon.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)