Cape Town taxi strike: DA calls for accountability from Bheki Cele

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
04 Aug 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

The DA is deeply concerned over the taxi strike declared by Santaco in Cape Town, which has resulted in significant hardship for our city, particularly impacting the most vulnerable members of our community, including children. The economic devastation caused by the strike is also alarming, and it is incumbent upon us to address the situation urgently.

Of even greater concern is the presence of Police Minister Bheki Cele at the meeting where the strike was declared. It raises questions about his involvement and role in a matter that falls outside the scope of his responsibilities. The primary responsibility of the Police Minister is to maintain law and order and ensure the safety of all citizens, regardless of the circumstances.

It is distressing that while the strike was underway and acts of violence were being perpetrated, Minister Cele was not seen addressing these incidents. The burning of buses and looting of trucks have put innocent lives at risk, and the recent shooting of a bus driver in Khayelitsha is a tragic incident that should not be overlooked.

As the Police Minister, Cele should have taken immediate action to mitigate the violence that erupted during the strike. The lack of a visible and proactive response is deeply troubling and undermines public confidence in the ability of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to protect its citizens.

We call on Minister Cele to clarify his involvement in the meeting where the strike was declared and to provide a detailed account of his actions during the strike. Moreover, he must outline his plan to ensure the remainder of the strike proceeds peacefully and without endangering lives and property.

This strike and the associated violence bring back memories of previous attempts to render the Western Cape ungovernable during election periods. The presence of an ANC minister at the meeting where the decision to strike was made raises questions about the potential political motivations behind this action. The focus should be on addressing legitimate concerns within the taxi industry through constructive dialogue and adherence to the by-laws governing the sector.

Minister Cele must prioritise his duty to protect residents and uphold the law. It is essential that he ensures the SAPS operates effectively and that there is no room for a lawless taxi industry. The safety and security of our citizens should never be compromised.

We urge the relevant authorities to take swift action to resolve the taxi strike and engage all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the issues facing the industry. Our priority remains the well-being and safety of the people of Cape Town.

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