The City of Cape Town and minibus taxi associations are yet to come to an agreement as police continue to clamp down on taxis.
Dunoon and Joe Slovo regions in Cape Town are still battling protest action, with reports indicating that demonstrations escalated on Saturday morning, resulting in a bus being set alight in Freedom Way.

This was confirmed by City of Cape Town traffic services spokesperson Richard Coleman.

Several roads in the area have been closed as a result.

It it reported that the City of Cape Town and taxi associations are yet to come to an agreement as police continue to clamp down on taxis, a ward councillor in the area said.

Dunoon taxi operators are said to be lashing out in response to having their taxis impounded.

On Thursday, the car of two traffic officers at a busy filling station on Koeberg Road was attacked by six people in taxis, the second attack by a taxi driver on traffic officers in a week.

A group of 20 to 30 children also stoned vehicles at Freedom Way, with injuries reported, as well as damage to several cars. This resulted in the temporary closure of roads leading into Joe Slovo, EWN reported earlier on Saturday.

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Earlier on Thursday, on nearby Potsdam Road, about 60 people gathered in Dunoon, a few kilometres up from Koeberg Road, and burnt tyres on the road, in what appears to be an unrelated protest.

On Friday, a bus and a truck were also set alight during a service delivery protest in the area, and several roads were blocked by burning tyres. This saw the whole of Dunoon, the N7, and Koeberg and Malibongwe roads being inaccessible.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said a vehicle was also stoned during the protest.

Last Thursday afternoon, two traffic officers were also attacked by a taxi driver during an operation in the area.

Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has condemned the unlawful and violent protest action. “The destruction of personal property and the endangering of lives is to be condemned in the strongest terms.

“While citizens have the right to protest and freedom of assembly, any protest action which is violent and unlawful is to be condemned in the strongest terms. I call for immediate calm and stabilisation within affected communities.”

The City had 71 traffic officers and 52 vehicles in the affected areas to help with traffic management and the clearing of the roads, said Cape Town Safety and Security Mayoral Committee Member JP Smith.

“The unrest started earlier this week – allegedly in response to an operation by our Traffic Service, around minibus taxis. Taxi drivers and owners believe that they should not be fined or arrested for offences and that the City should engage them first in discussions about these offences,” he said.

“This is a preposterous proposal. Public transport operators and owners need to realise that the law applies just as much to them as every other motorist and that they have a larger burden of responsibility than anybody else on the road. Their conduct is a disgrace.”

Dunoon Taxi Association secretary Frank Qotyiwe said they felt targeted by law enforcement officials in ongoing operations and decided to suspend their routes the last two days.

They wanted the City to reissue taxi operating permits for routes that were serviced and those that were not serviced by MyCiTi buses, based on a survey which showed there was a demand for taxi services in the area.

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Source: TheCitizen

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