Cape Town Taxi Rank

Cape Town city taxi rank on the roof of the railway station. Photo: Henry Trotter / Wikimedia Commons

Taxi bosses cry foul after 60 vehicles impounded in the Western Cape

The Amalgamated Taxi Association believe the City of Cape Town is intentionally trying to destroy the minibus taxi industry.

Cape Town Taxi Rank

Cape Town city taxi rank on the roof of the railway station. Photo: Henry Trotter / Wikimedia Commons

The Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) has accused the Cape Town city council of deliberately targetting the minibus taxi industry in order to remove competition for its MyCiti bus service.

Traffic officials in the City of Cape Town cracked down on errant motorists on Tuesday 11 September 2019 in the continuation of Operation Zero Tolerance – an initiative by the city to clean up the roads.

In total, around 70 cellphones were confiscated from motorists using them while driving, nearly 1200 fines were issued for violating traffic laws, and one person was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Taxis operating without a permit

However, the number that has irked Cata is the 60 minibus taxis that were impounded for either operating without a permit or operating in violance to the conditions of the permit they had.

While the news would come as a cause for celebration for most Cape Townians, the Amalgamated Taxi Association claims it is a clear sign they are being oppressed by the city.

“It is very painful for us as an association, because we are being oppressed by the city,” Cata spokesperson Andile Seyamo said.

“We are being unfairly treated by officials; they target us because this is a black-dominated industry.”

Andile Seyamo

Claims the city is trying to destroy the taxi industry

The crux of its argument is that Cata claims it is the city’s fault the taxis did not have permits in the first place and, more than that, a targetted campaign to destroy the minibus taxi industry.

“The traffic department has failed to issue the permits on time, and they make it difficult for us to have them. And when they want to fund-raise, they impound our taxis because they know we will pay.

“The City does not want to compete with the taxi industry because they can see that we are progressing.

“They never stop the MyCiTi buses but they are always overloaded with people. If it was a taxi, they would stop it immediately. They are destroying us.”

Andile Seyamo

City strongly refutes the claim

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith has, of course, categorically denied the claims, saying the taxis would not have been impounded if they had complied with the law.

“The city is colour blind when it comes to enforcement, the only thing the traffic officer sees is a vehicle committing a road traffic offence, and putting in danger the lives of the commuters who are paying customers,” he said.

JP Smith