taxi driver WCED

Cape Town Station Deck Taxi Rank. Photo: Storm Simpson / The South African.

Taxi extortion attempts keep thousands of learners from Western Cape schools

Taxi associations are allegedly threatening and intimidating scholar transport drivers in an attempt to muscle in on contracts from the WCED.

taxi driver WCED

Cape Town Station Deck Taxi Rank. Photo: Storm Simpson / The South African.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said taxi associations in the province are stopping scholar transport and preventing learners from attending school in an attempt to muscle their way into contracts from the department.


Education MEC David Maynier went to Academia Primary School in Driftsands, Cape Town on Monday morning, 13 February, where over 50% of learners have been kept out of school.

Maynier said the learners were prevented from attending due to an illegal blockade of learner transport operations by taxi associations.

“Today, their absenteeism rate is 90%,” said Maynier.

The WCED alleges taxi association members have been threatening and harassing scholar transport drivers in an attempt to get their hands on transport contracts from the department and extort money.

“The blockade has affected up to 2400 learners last week, depriving them of their constitutional right to education, and we await feedback from our schools as to the number of learners affected today. This includes our special needs learners, where a driver was forced to turn back as he feared for his safety and took learners home,” said the WCED.


Maynier said the taxi associations are showing that they are willing to compromise education, teaching and learning “in order to line their own pockets.”

He also accused the taxi associations of spreading misinformation by claiming the department promised them contracts.

“The minibus taxi associations appear to be demanding that we allocate transport contracts to them without following tender processes, which we cannot and will not do. It is simply illegal,” said the MEC.

The WCED added that the taxi associations have allegedly threatened to “offload” learners from any transport that is not operated by their members. “This allegedly includes parents driving their children to school because their usual transport is not operating.

Maynier was adamant that the WCED would not meet with any taxi association until the blockade was terminated and teaching and learning resumed.

The MEC will meet with the Western Cape Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile, to discuss what SAPS is doing to stop the extortion and intimidation.