taxi cape town SANTACO

Cape Town Station Deck Taxi Rank. Image: Storm Simpson

Taxi extortion: WC Transport flooded with complaints from victims forced to pay fines, ‘release fees’

Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell called an urgent meeting with SANTACO leaders on Thursday over worsening extortion linked to the taxi-industry.

taxi cape town SANTACO

Cape Town Station Deck Taxi Rank. Image: Storm Simpson

Western Cape MEC of Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell said he called an urgent meeting with the leaders of the SA National Taxi Council’s (SANTACO) Western Cape branch on Thursday, 7 October, to express his concern over ongoing acts of extortion related to the taxi industry taking place in the province.


Mitchell said his office has been flooded with complaints from victims of extortion, including private companies and vehicle owners, who were targeted by “patrollers” attached to the industry.

These “patrollers” impose fines and charge “release fees” on certain individuals when they operate on their “territory.” The extortion racket is allegedly linked to both CATA and CODETA, the SANTACO taxi associations at the heart of the deadly taxi violence that gripped the Western Cape earlier this year.

“At the meeting, I wanted to hear from the taxi leadership what they are doing to put a stop to these crimes,” said Mitchell. “These criminal acts must be condemned and the leaders of the minibus taxi industry have a responsibility to ensure that their members operate within the law and in accordance with their constitution and signed code of conduct.”

According to the MEC, the taxi leaders agreed with him in that “there are many challenges leading to the crime of extortion” but they are committed to finding lasting solutions to these crimes. SANTACO secretary Gershon Geyer said the national taxi council cannot “condone the behaviour of certain individuals who are impounding vehicles in the taxi industry.”

Mitchell urged citizens to report extortion by opening criminal cases with the police.”Through engagements between my Department and SAPS, all stations have been provided with Standard Operating Procedures to following in the event of victims reporting acts of extortion, illegal ‘impounding’ of their vehicles and threats by local taxi operators.”

The department provided a hotline where acts of extortion can be reported – 086-001-0111. “These numbers are useless, one of our drivers is still being held at this very moment at Nyanga taxi rank by a taxi association demanding money,” claimed a Facebook user in the comment section of the post where Mitchell shared his statement.

“Please send me the details on inbox,” replied the MEC’s Facebook account.


This week, the Gauteng Traffic Police (GTP), arrested fourteen suspects involved in such an extortion racket. Nine of the suspects were reportedly attached to the Witwatersrand African Taxi Association (WATA) and the remaining five were contracted security staff.

The “patrollers” and their security guards allegedly attempted to impound two buses and demanded a R5000 release fee per bus in Orlando, Johannesburg.

“The suspects allegedly held two luxury busses, hostage, with the assistance of their security personnel, pointing firearms at drivers and passengers and demanded R5000 from each bus for the release thereof,” said GTP spokesperson Sello Maremane.

The suspects were arrested and detained at Orlando Police station on various charges related to the extortion attempt.