CATA, Codeta say they’ll suffer financially as lucrative route remains closed

Both CATA and Codeta were expecting another extension of the closure and both organisations said they were committed to concluding the arbitration process properly.

FILE: The Bellville taxi rank. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - A lucrative but troubled taxi route will be closed for a further two months and two taxi associations are bemoaning the move, saying it would hit them hard financially.

The B97 route between Bellville and Paarl was at the centre of a bloody conflict between CATA and Codeta that left at least 83 people dead.

They have since signed a peace deal and the route was closed for two months to allow for an arbitration process.

The route was meant to reopen over the weekend, but last week, the transport MEC extended the closure for another two months.

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Both CATA and Codeta were expecting another extension of the closure and both organisations said they were committed to concluding the arbitration process properly.

But the two-month long extension is going to hurt them financially.

CATA's Mandla Hermanus said 38 vehicles operate on the route and each driver made at between R1,000 to R1,400 a day before the closure.

“Every day we can’t operate on that route, it’s a huge loss for the industry,” he said.

Codeta's Lesley Sikuphela agreed and said people relied on the money they made to feed their families.

Codeta had 30 vehicles operating on the route, making at least R2,000 a day. Now that is all gone and will be non-existent for the next two months too.

“Thousands of rands were lost and the only thing we're hoping for was the violence to die down. ”

Both associations are looking to the arbitrator now in the hopes she'll finish her work sooner rather than later.

Government said she was wrapping up evidence at the end of September and was due to submit her report and findings at the end of October.

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