Premier Alan Winde chaired a special provincial Cabinet meeting this morning to report back on the various engagements and interventions that have been under way since the beginning of the mini-bus taxi strike in the Western Cape. The stay-away is being led by the South African National Taxi Council in the Western Cape (SANTACO-WC). Despite urgent negotiations since last Thursday, there is unfortunately still no resolution. Cabinet will continue to meet daily.
“I am angry that as a result of the strike, residents have been unable to get home to their families or to work, school, shops, clinics and other critical sites. Many government services, including health and social development, are having to close facilities and are unable to provide desperately needed services to our communities. Our schooling system is also being affected. This is not acceptable,” the Premier stated.
“We welcome SANTACO’s condemnation of the levels of violence associated with the strike. However, we remain deeply concerned by the violence, loss of life and destruction of property that has been associated with the strike. SANTACO’s leadership must ensure that the violence associated with the strike ends immediately. We also note and support the interdict granted by the Western Cape High Court to Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) against SANTACO and its affiliates. The Western Cape Government is also pursuing legal action, along with the City of Cape Town, to interdict the violence”.
The Premier continued, “The ongoing violence is making it very difficult for negotiations to proceed. We are a government that stands for the rule of law. A withdrawal of services is an important Constitutional right, but violence, intimidation and destruction of property are not. This is non-negotiable. We want to bring all stakeholders back to the negotiations, but this has to be in an environment of calm. We must also not allow this issue to be politicised as this will only further complicate matters.”
The safety of residents and road users is of paramount importance. All law enforcement agencies have been mobilised since the strike was called. The maximum number of personnel and resources have been deployed to respond to acts of violence and protect what services are able to be offered amid the industrial action.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Western Cape Government: Office of the Premier.