Cape Town – Taxi bosses are pleading for newly appointed Transport and Public works MEC Daylin Mitchell to help them quell the scourge of taxi killings in the province.
Premier Alan Winde has appointed Mitchell as the new MEC after the resignation of Bonginkosi Madikizela amid the furore over his qualifications on his CV.
SA National Taxi Council provincial spokesperson Gershon Geyer welcomed the appointment.
“We hope Mitchell can assist us with eradicating the violence in the industry. We also hope he can bring empowerment and subsidies to transform the taxi industry,” said Geyer.
Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) secretary Mandla Hermanus said they were hoping Mitchell would tackle the transport issues with the same vigour that was displayed by Madikizela.
“We hope he shares the same passion about taking the industry from the periphery to the mainstream, as a driver of economic activity in the province. He must urgently deal with the spate of killings of taxi leaders,” said Hermanus.
Congress for Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) spokesperson Andile Khanyi said their first priority was to deal with the violence and killings in the industry.
“We have lost our fathers, our brothers, our friends and colleagues, which is painful for the taxi industry. Our cry to all the ministers is that we are the most used mode of transport, carrying more than 65% of commuters, but still without subsidies,” said Khanyi.
Khanyi said that Mitchell could also help eradicate violence in the taxi industry.
“Mitchell must introduce himself to the industry, to all our regions in the province. He looks young… maybe he is going to pull up his socks.”
Winde said he knows Mitchell to be a hard-working representative who was committed to making the Western Cape a better place for all who live in it. He is confident that Mitchell would continue to serve the people of the province with distinction.
Winde said as the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works, Mitchell was already familiar with the challenges and opportunities that existed in the portfolio. He expected him to hit the ground running.
ANC leader of the opposition Cameron Dugmore said Mitchell must produce a plan for peace and stability in the taxi industry and work with the national government to ensure safe, reliable and regular public transport in the metro and beyond.
Mitchell said it was his singular honour to serve the people of the province in Winde’s cabinet.
“I look forward to working hard to ensure a safe, reliable and functional integrated passenger commuter transport system in our province,” he said.