ANC calls for national intervention as province fails to resolve Public Transport crisis

ANC calls for national intervention as province fails to resolve Public Transport crisis

30 May 2000

The ANC`s Provincial Working Committee met last night and resolved to call for direct intervention from the National Government to resolve continued violence resulting from ongoing intimidation of busses and commuters by taxi operators.

ANC Western Cape Provincial Leader Ebrahim Rasool said:

"The ANC condemns in the strongest terms those taxi operators who are using violence, intimidation and threats to disrupt the public transport system in the province .

"Today, thousands of commuters are left stranded as bus drivers protest the killing of yet another driver.

"Whatever the grievances of the taxi operators, violence can never be justified. As the ANC we highlighted the problems of legalization and permits last year in the legislature. We have been involved in negotiations for the last three months trying to find a solution to these issues.

"We have tabled a plan to resolve the outstanding issues. It was up to the provincial government, whose cabinet has the constitutional competence to deal with these matters, to act and find a solution.

"The provincial government has however not played a hands on role in dealing with the substantive issues and only passed legislation which allows for the closure of ranks two weeks ago. Other provinces passed similar legislation two years ago. The question which can legitimately be asked is whether so much time would have elapsed if it was the residents of Constantia that were being affected in this way.

"We now have a crisis on our hands. The ANC believes that the taxi operators have not negotiated in good faith and that the provincial government cannot deal with the situation. We are thus calling on the national Ministers of Transport, Defence, and Police to intervene.

"We believe that the climate must be created for dealing with a long term solution. At present this climate does not exist. We are thus calling for the SANDF to be deployed while the ranks are closed.

"We are also calling a community rally tomorrow evening (Wednesday 31 May) to report on the situation and gather the views of the commuters in the area.

"We call on the police to arrest and charge all those who are physically or verbally intimidating others. Enough is enough!"

Issued by ANC Western Cape Commmunications Department.
For any media enquiries, contact:
Cameron Dugmore, Head of Department: 082-894-7553, or
Gert Witbooi, Provincial Media Officer: 082-570-9118.