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'Soweto routes to remain closed if associations fail to accept conditions'

The Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association & Witwatersrand Taxi Association have been at loggerheads for over six months, resulting in the murder of 20 members.

Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi briefs the media on the closure of some Soweto taxi routes on Friday 11 August 2017. Picture: Hitekani Magwedze/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Transport Department says it intends extending the closure of some taxi routes in Soweto for another three months.

MEC Ismail Vadi temporarily closed the routes a month ago following clashes between rival operators.

The Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association and Witwatersrand Taxi Association have been at loggerheads for over six months, resulting in the murder of 20 members.

Vadi says withdrawing armed security from the taxi ranks was one of the conditions the department had given the associations.

But subsequent to their failure to agree, the MEC says he intends on extending the closure on Monday.

He says if the two associations come to an agreement over the weekend he will withdraw his decision.

“I’m hoping that between now and Sunday the leadership of the two associations can come to their senses and can agree to the conditions that I have set out so that the situation can be normalised. Failing which, we will continue with the shutdown of the five taxi ranks.”

The association’s bosses were invited to be part of a media press conference Friday but did not arrive.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)