CT's B97 taxi route closed for another 3 months amid protracted violence

Western Cape MEC for Transport Daylin Mitchell said that the extension would kick in on Friday. He said that the decision was made after concerted efforts to stop violence between operators affiliated to Cata and Codeta failed.

FILE: The Bellville taxi rank in Cape Town. Picture: Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The B97 taxi route between Mbekweni in Paarl and Bellville will remain closed for another three months.

Western Cape MEC for Transport Daylin Mitchell said that the extension would kick in on Friday.

He said that the decision was made after concerted efforts to stop violence between operators affiliated to Cata and Codeta failed.

In July, the route was closed for two months due to ongoing taxi violence, which claimed the lives of at least 83 people this year.

The closure was extended for two more months which expired on Thursday.

Mitchell said that in the last month, law enforcement officers had been attacked by taxi operators in the Paarl area who demanded that route B97 be opened.

The Golden Arrow Bus Services also reported several incidents of intimidation along the route.

Mitchell said that even during the arbitration process, the option of reaching a "bridging agreement" was proposed but consensus could not be reached.

He said that the department was also in the process of studying the arbitration award.

Meanwhile, Cata has welcomed the decision to extend the closure, saying that it would be impossible to reopen that route when the arbitration process had not been finalised as that would lead to renewed tensions between the associations.