Sunday, June 21, 2009

Police vs Taxis: Who's running the show?

The taxis are at it again. It isn't a complicated issue to resolve but I suppose when most metro cops supplement their income directly from taxis, finding the will to end this lucrative source of income is hard.

On the udder hand Darren, an astute observer might notice something interesting in all of this. Amidst the taxi vs police milieu is a lesson. No really, there is. It seems all one needs to do to bend the authorities to one's will is to build enough critical mass as an interest group - then threaten collective action. In our case, since we hold most of the economic might we could threaten to withhold taxes unless our concerns about crime, mismanagement, graft and [insert problem here] is taken seriously. But..there's less chance of white Saffas standing as one than getting Julius to pass woodworking class.

Back to reality. I said fixing the taxi issue was uncomplicated. With WC2010 around the corner, we just cannot afford to have these baboons on the road. I say, call the taxi owners' bluff, impound their vehicles, cancel their licenses, arrest those with outstanding tickets like they do with ordinary motorists with no bother and see what happens. Above the din that will resonate from cheering road-war weary South African motorists, the message will be sent loud and clear to these perennial law-breakers that the time for pussyfooting has ended. But alas, this is the real world and this is the country of the ANC guvmunt so none of it will ever happen. Instead, I think they've scheduled more meetings. Hmm, I wonder if I could get Minnaar's ear concerning some outstanding parking tickets..nah silly me, I don't drive a taxi.

Taxi Hell

Taxi strike flames of havoc

Driving me mad
Motorists have no rights
Licensed to kill in
lawless SA
No arrests after metro police's wage protest

Public to supply police with toilet paper

Has this ever happened in a civilised country?

'Don't smile at male drivers'

Operation Nomakanjani, which was designed to clamp down on negligent and reckless driving, especially by taxi drivers, has been canned, the Johannesburg metro police said on Saturday.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the operation, which has caused tension between the metro police and taxi operators was suspended after a meeting was held between the two parties on Saturday.

"It was clear from discussions that issues between the two parties cause frustration, which might lead to unnecessary conflict," he said.

Hundreds of drivers have been arrested while their vehicles and taxis were impounded since the launch of the operation just over three months ago.

However, as a result of these arrests, representatives of the taxi industry had threatened strike action on Monday.

Minnaar said law enforcement could not be compromised, but the ways in which "certain enforcement activities" were implemented needed to be looked into.

"It was therefore resolved that operation Nomakanjani will be suspended until further discussions between the parties concerned take place," Minnaar said.

Hat tip: Black Coffee

1 Opinion(s):

FanonPoqoChimurenga said...

I emailed this story to you, but IOL limits what I can say in the message. Though I had no problems with the taxi drivers, having used minibus taxis almost every day, I also realize that I did not have to deal with the taxi drivers as an individual motorist. It does seem that Johbg Metro police allowed themselves to be intimidated by taxi owners on this one. It seems to me law enforcement officers should be determining which laws to enforce and how vigorously, backed up by the SAPS if necessary who, as I understand it, have the resources to break up riot situations.