Still no agreement on sharing of problematic Route B97 taxi route in WC

Western Cape Mobility MEC Daylin Mitchell met with leaders of the provincial taxi industry at the start of the week in an effort to find solutions that will lead to the reopening of the Route B97.

FILE: Taxis seen at the Bellville taxi rank on 6 August 2018, in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - An agreement has still not been reached on the sharing of a taxi route between Mbekweni and Bellville.

Western Cape Mobility MEC Daylin Mitchell met with leaders of the provincial taxi industry at the start of the week in an effort to find solutions that will lead to the reopening of Route B97.

Mitchell first closed the route in July 2021 after concerted efforts from authorities to stop violence between operators affiliated to Cata and Codeta failed.

The current extension expires on 26 May and a notice proposing closure for a further extension was published for comment last week.

This after both groups requested more time while they were focused on elections within the taxi industry and would not allow the two route associations to engage on their own.

The local Paarl Alliance Taxi Association, which is affiliated to Codeta, and Cata Boland both claim rights to operate on the route.

Mitchell is adamant that they want the route re-opened.

"Our government has put in a significant amount of time, money and effort into trying to resolve the conflict with the participation of Cata, Codeta, Santaco, the City of Cape Town, the Drakenstein Municipality and the South African Police Services but an agreement could not be reached on the sharing of the route outside of the arbitration process," Mitchell said.

Santaco chairperson Mandla Hermanus said that the taxi industry was under pressure to get the route reopened but they did understand that the issues needed to be dealt with first.

"To ensure that there will be no violence, there must be a way of resolving the issues that led to the closure of that route in the first place. It's very important for Cata and Codeta to find each other before the route can reopen," Hermanus said.