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Friday, February 23, 2024

CoCT plans to sue SANTACO for taxi strike damages

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Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says the municipality is busy collating the cost of damages incurred by the recent taxi strike, and that it plans to hold the taxi industry liable.

 

The eight-day taxi stay-away – earlier this month – led to widespread violence, and the loss of lives.

 

Hill-Lewis explains that the financial burden is being felt, and that it’s not fair for residents to pay the price.

 

Some of the incidents affecting the City of Cape Town include the following: 10 Golden Arrow buses were torched at the time. A City depot was petrol-bombed, leaving 7 cars damaged and 3 gutted. LEAP officer, Zanikhaya Kwinana (32) was shot dead in Nyanga, while he and his colleagues were carrying out patrols. The Nolungile Community Health Centre at Site C in Khayelitsha was also vandalised and set alight.

 

“The City is busy assessing and quantifying the full cost of damage to our vehicles and infrastructure, and the cost of additional policing over those days of unacceptable violence. We have every intention of pursuing civil action to recover these costs and to make sure that those responsible for the violence and damage are held both criminally and financially liable.”

 

buses were torched during taxi strike
Several vehicles were damaged during the taxi-related unrest. Image: CoCT

The City maintains it is not at the stage of launching court action just yet. Officials are currently gathering evidence and will announce the next step will be taken.

 

“While the City and province, and the taxi industry have reached an agreement to end the strike, this in no way absolves the taxi industry of responsibility for the damages caused.”

 

THE ESTIMATED DAMAGES

 

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government has estimated the losses to the economy to be R5 billion. The City of Cape Town faces approximately R18 million in damages.

 

The South African National Taxi Council has been approached for comment. SANTACO is yet to provide feedback on the matter.

 

Lizell Persens
Lizell Persens
Lizell is a Cape Town-based news anchor, reporter and transcriptionist. She has been a journalist for the past 10 years, and started her career as a TV producer. The avid reader enjoys writing poems, fast cars, music, travelling, and exploring new food.

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