Sebenza SAPS launches taxi association forum

The Sebenza SAPS, together with various taxi associations, launched a forum to bridge the communications gap.

The Sebenza SAPS launched a forum with various taxi associations on May 5 at the Sebenza Police Station.

The Sebenza SAPS communications officer, Sergeant Sharon Mahamba-Tsotsotso, said the aim of the forum was to act as a link between the police and the taxi associations in order to have the lines of communication open.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Kempton Park Taxi Association (KETA), the Ivory Park Taxi Association (IPTA), the Lethabong Taxi Association and the Faraday Taxi Association. Also in attendance were the Johannesburg – Tembisa Taxi Association (JTTA), the Tata Taxi Association (TATA), the Germiston Taxi Association, the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA), the Greater Alberton Taxi Association and the EMPD.

Sgt Tsotsotso said the launch of the forum follows a meeting held on April 14 to discuss crimes committed by taxi drivers and the overall treatment and safety of passengers.

“It was mentioned that some taxi drivers drop off their passengers in unsafe areas, where they end up being robbed or even raped. Passenger safety is very important and taxi drivers must ensure that passengers are not dropped off in unsafe areas. Customer service must come first. Some drivers do not obey the rules of the road and sometimes drive in the wrong lanes and skip traffic lights,” said Sgt Tsotsotso.

She said it was suggested that taxi owners should put tracking devices on their taxis to monitor the movement of their taxi drivers and to prevent their taxis from being used for criminal activities.

“It was also said that the role of a squad and their boundaries is to ensure there is smooth operation between the drivers and the commuters. This is also to ensure that the rules and regulations are being adhered to. Taxi drivers also have a responsibility to ensure they do not operate outside their designated jurisdiction unless it was for a valid reason,” said Sgt Tsotsotso.

Sgt Tsotsotso said by having a forum, it will help to bridge the communication gap between taxi owners and the police, as many issues will be discussed with the representatives of the taxi associations as and when they arise.

She said it was suggested that if the taxi drivers are attacked by a taxi patroller, they need to report it to the association they work with and not to the SAPS, but there were some objections to that idea as any crimes, including assault, should be reported to the police.

Sgt Tsotsotso said the forum will meet again on May 19 to vote for the executive of the forum.

Buli Sonqishe

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