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WC transport MEC declares George high-risk area following taxi-related violence

Drivers and their bosses went on a rampage in Thembalethu this week after traffic officials impounded about 40 taxis for not being roadworthy.

FILE: Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant has declared the George area as high-risk following three days of taxi-related violence.

Drivers and their bosses went on a rampage in Thembalethu this week after traffic officials impounded about 40 taxis for not being roadworthy.

Two George municipal traffic patrol cars were torched in retaliation, while the private vehicle of a Go George bus service employee was petrol bombed.

The Uncedo Taxi Association claimed traffic officials impounded taxis to make way for the Go George bus service.

Grant's spokesperson Siphesihle Dube said the MEC planned to implement extraordinary measures to protect commuters and secure infrastructure should the violence continue.

Dube said this included closing all routes served by the Go George bus service for minibus-taxi operations.

“The department has requested that SAPS and traffic enforcement in George be on high alert and to increase their presence following that Uncedo leaders were calling on operators from outside of George to flood the area and to block key routes,” he said.