Eastern Cape indefinite closure of taxi ranks conflict resolution release
SA Taxi funds conflict resolution initiative for violence-ridden Eastern Cape taxi associations
SA Taxi, a pioneering business platform focused on transforming the minibus taxi industry by supporting its sustainability, has funded a conflict resolution workshop for leaders and other stakeholders of taxi associations in the Mthatha region of the Eastern Cape.
This initiative followed the indefinite closure at the end of March of taxi ranks in the region by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, in an attempt to stem the violence among warring taxi factions that has led to the deaths of more than 60 people since 2016.
“We believe that violence, wherever it occurs, directly impacts the sustainability of the minibus taxi industry as a whole and, therefore, the entire country,” says Maroba Maduma, SA Taxi Communication Executive.
“The industry is the lifeblood of the economy, ensuring that every day millions of people are able to get to work, healthcare facilities, schools, and shops. When it grinds to a halt in any area for any reason, the ramifications ripple far beyond the operators and drivers whose lives and livelihoods are at risk. It negatively impacts extended communities.
“In crucial ways, the industry is also a pillar of democracy, enabling grassroots communities to participate in and contribute to an economically brighter future for all.
“We therefore believe that the industry has a responsibility to reflect the principles on which our democracy was founded: the willingness to negotiate, to put down the anger of the past in order for everyone to enjoy the benefits of peace and a well-ordered society.
“As an organisation whose business model is founded on accelerating the sustainability of the industry and is therefore an integral member of the industry’s value chain, we’re providing conflict resolution resources it otherwise could not access on its own.”
The funding for the workshop, which took place 8 May 2018 and was attended by up to 60 delegates, was provided by SA Taxi Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of SA Taxi.
Through the Foundation, SA Taxi contributes some R55 million in developmental initiativesto the industry itself and to the communities the industry serves.
Delegates to the conflict resolution workshop included members of the warring taxi associations, the regional taxi associations, and local government and metro officials. The workshop was run by an independent organisation.
SA Taxi consulted all stakeholders on the need for the workshop.
“It’s clear that the will exists to resolve the issue to everyone’s benefit,” Maduma says. “What’s been missing are the tools and impartial, structured mechanisms on which everyone can agree –and rely – in order to move forward collectively and cohesively.
“The workshop puts these in place, creating an environment in which violence is not only abhorred on principle by everyone but recognised as useless as a way of managing disputes.”
+27 (0) 11 592 8738
Group Communications Executive
SA Taxi Communications