The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) will on Tuesday begin the process of vetting minibus taxis that will be operate on the now reopened Soweto ranks and routes that had been closed over the past three months.
“It is important for us to verify and authenticate the operators so that we avoid a situation where we have illegal taxis operating on the disputed routes and ranks. We will not compromise on the verification process, as this will help us find a long-lasting solution,” Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo said in a statement.
According to the agreement signed between the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (NANDUWE), Witwatersrand Taxi Association (WATA) and the Department of Roads and Transport, common stickers will be affixed on all 200 taxis that will be operating from various loading points.
The operating licence serves to confirm that prior to the closure of the routes in March 2019, the vehicle was duly authorised to operate.
This vetting will further ensure that stickers are not issued to illegal taxi operators, which will further perpetuate the problem.
The provincial department said verified vehicles will immediately resume with operations, while illegal ones will face the full might of the law.
The peace deal was signed at the Hector Pietersen Memorial in Soweto on 11 June 2019.
In the deal, the two associations pledged to end all hostilities after the routes and taxi ranks were closed following violent confrontations.
The two associations also agreed that they would share the disputed routes and taxi ranks on a 50/50 basis.
“We appeal to the public to be patient with the process as our priority is to ensure that only authorised vehicles operate on the routes. We do not want to see a repeat of what happened in the past,” Mamabolo said.