MEC threatens to close Vlakfontein route over taxi violence

A gunfight broke out on Tuesday between the Ennerdale and Lawley associations over the Vlakfontein route on Tuesday.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane. Picture: Hitekani Magwedze/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has threatened to close the Vlakfontein route, south of Johannesburg, if taxi associations operating there don’t agree to an immediate peace.

A gunfight broke out on Tuesday between the Ennerdale and Lawley associations over the Vlakfontein route. One person was killed while another is in a critical condition.

MEC Nkosi-Malobane says the department is ready to enforce certain limitations on the associations as it did with some Soweto routes a few weeks ago, if they don’t sign the agreement.

“We don’t want to do what we did with WATA and Nanduwe [associations in Soweto] because we can do it. I’m sure you know that the law allows us to save you and show you that we love you.”

The agreement requires taxi associations to remove their private armed security from taxi ranks and keep to their routes.

But associations have hit back at the department, saying it has not been efficient in allocating and facilitating routes and this has led to the friction.