Cata calls on govt to look at root causes of extortion in taxi industry

According to the Transport Department, private transport drivers were stopped by 'patrollers' who imposed 'fines' or 'release fees' when the operators drove in certain areas.

FILE: Bellville taxi rank in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Taxi association Cata is calling on government to look into the root causes of extortion within the industry.

Recently, Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell raised the issue of extortion, saying that he had been inundated with complaints.

He mentioned that the crimes were allegedly linked to Cata and Codeta.

According to the Transport Department, private transport drivers were stopped by "patrollers" who imposed "fines" or "release fees" when the operators drove in certain areas.

But Cata's Mandla Hermanus said that since the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions such as lockdowns and curfews, the industry had observed a huge shift in the travelling patterns of its traditional client base.

He said that there has been a move by many companies to provide transportation for their employees.

"These companies make services of a few individuals to the exclusion of the taxi operators who are based in the area. This results in resentment as local operators are watching their former customers being taken away from them."

Hermanus said that while he condemned all acts of criminality in the taxi industry, government needed to engage with the business sector.

Codeta is yet to respond.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device