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Gauteng announces closure of NANDUWE and WATA ranks and routes
MEC Dr. Ismail Vadi has published Regulations in the Provincial Gazette invoking extraordinary measures to close ranks and related routes operated by the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (NANDUWE) and Witwatersrand Taxi Association (WATA) in Soweto. MEC for Community Safety Ms. Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane was present during the announcement.
The extraordinary measure is provided for in Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act (NLTA) 2009 and will take effect from Thursday, 13 July until 13 August 2017. 
This comes after careful consideration of all representations received relating to the Notice of Intent to close minibus taxi ranks and related routes linked to both associations.
The affected ranks and routes are Mofolo Kwa-Mthethwa Informal Taxi Rank; Makhetha Stores Informal Taxi Rank; Dube Station Taxi Rank; Makhetha Garage (Phefeni) Taxi Rank; and Uncle Tom’s Taxi Rank.
“We must indicate that any person who contravenes the published regulations and operates a minibus taxi service at the said ranks and routes is guilty of an offence. Where a person is convicted of contravening the regulation, a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding R25 000.00 may be imposed” stressed the MEC.
City of Johannesburg and provincial law enforcement agencies supported the measure.
Section 91 of NLTA sets out the basis on which particular ranks and routes in an area may be closed by the MEC responsible for public transport.
Circumstances warranting such extraordinary measures include violence, unrest or instability in any sector of public transport; the safety of passengers where the situation has deteriorated to unacceptable levels.
MEC Vadi said the “we have concrete and credible evidence that the violence, unrest and instability are of such high level to justify extraordinary measures”.
He added that to date, at least thirteen cases of murder, attempted murder, assault, damage to property and intimidation involving over thirty suspects are being investigated. He appealed to both associations “to obey decisions made by those with the legal authority to do so”.
The MEC indicated that there have been instances of unlawful road blockades in the Johannesburg CBD leading to disruption of traffic and economic activities. The most recent was on Friday, 07 July 2017.
MEC Ms. Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said that law-enforcement authorities will be out in force and would not hesitate to take action against anyone who disregards the law.
With this decision, MEC Vadi indicated “that it is in the interest of the affected taxi associations that they play a positive and constructive role in guaranteeing the safety of those who use their services”.
He urged “the leadership and membership of taxi associations to publicly dissociate themselves from criminal and unlawful acts that show wanton disregard for the safety and lives of innocent people. Such lawlessness is unacceptable under any circumstances. We, therefore, call on the leadership and membership of the two Associations to play their part in maintaining order and safety in the declared areas by abiding by court orders and administrative rulings”.
He further advised commuters to use alternative public transport such as rail, busses and Rea Vaya services.
<September 2017>

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