Seven taxi operators were killed on Wednesday in separate incidents in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa, local authorities said.
The incidents were caused by a conflict between two “rival” taxi associations, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta), Western Cape Province’s Department of Transport and Public Works said in a statement.
According to the statement, this brings the total number of taxi-related murders in the province to 71 between January and July
The transport and community safety departments were attending an emergency meeting with the South African Police Service and other enforcement and intelligence authorities to agree on an integrated government approach to restore calm and to bring the perpetrators of the violence to book, it said.
Western Cape Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Daylin Mitchell said he has called the leadership of South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO), CATA and Codeta to an urgent meeting to discuss interventions to stem the growing tide of violence between associations affiliated CATA and Codeta, with a specific focus on violence related to the fight for control over routes.
The provincial police on Wednesday also reported multiple shooting incidents of taxi-related violence in the city, where four were killed and five were injured.
Taxi violence has been a long-standing problem in the Western Cape.
CATA President, Victor Wiwi, was shot dead in April in Cape Town, raising concerns about violence escalation in Cape Town and Western Cape’s taxi industry. (Xinhua/NAN)