Talks with taxi operators yield results

City representatives and members of the Hout Bay Taxi Association, from left, Anele Vidi, Robert Hlongwane, Fuad Petersen, Roberto Quintas, Sydney Adams and Siteyizi Kantso.

Several meetings to address ongoing issues around sedan and minibus taxis in Hout Bay have yielded good results.

Hout Bay and Llandudno ward councillor Roberto Quintas recently met with representatives from the Hout Bay and Wynberg taxi associations to discuss ways in which operations could be improved and further legiti-
mised.

Since Mr Quintas was voted in as ward councillor in last year’s local government elections, he has worked with a number of law enforcement agencies to crack down on traffic violations. Roadblocks have become a common sight in and around Hout Bay, with thousands of rands in fines issued.

Despite these measures, many residents still complain about
taxis – both minibuses and sedans – breaking the law, and they ask whether these operators have permits.

The taxi associations themselves have voiced concern about operators without permits.

“One of the outcomes of the meetings,” said Mr Quintas, “is that I will try to assist legitimate operators to obtain permits, though I must emphasise there will be road- blocks until behaviour on the road is improved.”

He wants the taxi associations to rein in those drivers who run red lights and hoot at intersections. Payne Road intersection; the traffic circle outside the Superspar;
the harbour precinct and Main Road, Penzance, were hot spots for taxi drivers behaving badly, he
said.

“There is excessive hooting and stopping in these areas. It is particularly bad outside the Spar, where drivers in the parking lot hear the hooting and then think it’s another car approaching when that is not actually the case. It creates confusion.”

The taxi associations have suggested demarcating boarding and drop-off bays in some of these areas to ease these problems.

Also, some drivers from Wynberg Taxi Association, felt too many licences were being issued to the sedan operators, who are represented by the Hout Bay Taxi Association.

Hout Bay Taxi Association secretary Sango Vunda said it had agreed to monitor drivers more closely. “We deploy people every morning to monitor our drivers. We also want to make sure all our drivers have the necessary licences and permits and their cars are roadworthy. It is very important that their vehicles are in good condition,” he said.

But while the taxi association said it was willing to invest in time and effort to improve standards, it felt the City should formally recognise its importance in Hout Bay.

“There have been challenges. When the City brought MyCiTi to Hout Bay, we were not consulted,” said Mr Vunda.

Charmaine Bailey, from the Wynberg Taxi Association, said the meetings had been very fruit-
ful.

“We were very happy that the councillor called these meetings, and that he is making the effort,” she said.

“In the past, we have had a few issues with the sedan taxis overstepping the mark, parking at ranks and areas they are not supposed to. When this happens, it reflects badly on the taxi industry as a whole. But everyone was on board with improving behaviours on the road.”

Ms Bailey said the Wynberg Taxi Association would like to see a formal rank established in Imizamo Yethu.

“This is essential if you want to properly regulate minibus taxis on the roads,” she said.

Mr Quintas said he wanted taxi drivers to realise that resources spent monitoring them could be used better elsewhere, such as policing water wastage.