Gauteng MEC for roads and transport Jacob Mamabolo on Wednesday said he was satisfied with the successful verification and authentication of Witwatersrand Taxi Association (WATA) and Nancefield Dube West Association (NANDUWE) minibus taxis.
The minibus taxis from the two associations will operate on routes re-opened in Soweto on Tuesday.
More than a hundred minibus taxis went through the verification and authentication process and were issued with bright orange identification stickers, before immediately resuming operations.
The vetting process, which included operators presenting their Operating Licences, was to ensure that unsafe and illegal vehicles are not allowed on the route.
The reopening of the routes that had been closed following violent confrontations between the two associations after they came up with an agreement which they signed at the historic Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto.
The South Gauteng High Court has ratified the agreement and it is now an order of the court.
“I am pleased with the cooperation that we have received from both associations. I believe what we’ve been able to achieve in a few days sets the bar high and I think the taxi industry is destined for a better future if we continue working together in this manner,” Mamabola said.
“As per the agreement, common stickers have been affixed on taxis that will be operating on the disputed routes. We are hopeful that this process will yield positive results and bring the much-needed safe operations to Soweto commuters.”
He added that the resumption of operations is not an end on its own, but the beginning of continuous engagements and consultations between the two associations and the department.
“It is for this reason that the department has resolved to host a two-day consultative Taxi Summit to address some of the issues in the industry. The summit will take place from 9 to 10 July,” Mamabolo said.
He said that the taxi industry played a key role in the economic development of the province and that it could be improved through continuous consultations among stakeholders.
Working with law enforcement, the department will monitor operations on the routes to ensure that all operators abide by the agreement.
– African News Agency (ANA)