Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell announced the closure of the B97 taxi route between Mbekweni, Paarl and Bellville, Cape Town on Friday, 23 July. On Saturday, he followed up by disclosing how the closure, which will be in place for two months, will affect commuters on the route.
Mitchell closed five taxi ranks in Bellville and Paarl and nearly 40 loading lanes at the Bellville Public Transport Interchange are affected.
MITCHELL CLOSES LANES
The B97 minibus taxi route between Bellville and Paarl will be closed for two months from Monday, 26 July. The contested route is the main source of the conflict between CATA and CODETA taxi associations. More than 24 people have been killed and 29 injured in the taxi violence which has engulfed Cape Town and despite the efforts of the provincial and national governments and the South African Police Service (SAPS) a peaceful resolution to the dispute is nowhere in sight.
“I took this extraordinary step to stop violence between rival taxi associations… and to deal with significant disruptions to public transport in the Metro South-East region.
“Concerted multi-stakeholder attempts to resolve the conflict have been unsuccessful,” said Mitchell.
The MEC said the Paarl Alliance Taxi Association (PATA) – a CODETA affiliate – and CATA both claim rights to run the B97 route. The interventions attempted by Mitchell’s department thus far have been unsuccessful and the next step is arbitration, which is expected to take place between 26 and 29 July.
The following taxi ranks are closed in Bellville and Paarl:
Bellville Public Transport Interchange (37 Chad Malan Street, Bellville)Unofficial taxi rank (Bellrail Road, Bellville)“Paint City” rank (Opposite the Bellville Public Transport Interchange)Mbekweni rank (Mohajane Street, Mbekweni, Paarl)Shoprite Midway Centre rank (Mbekweni, Paarl)
The following long-distance routes are closed at Bellville:
The following local loading lanes are closed at Bellville:
TygervalleyDurbanvilleWelgemoedGugulethuMowbrayNyangaKraaifonteinKraaifonteinKuils RiverLower CrossroadsLangaSamora MachelStellenboschMitchells PlainKhayelitshaKhayelitshaKhayelitshaHappy ValleyMfuleniWesbank
EXTRA GOLDEN ARROW BUSES AVAILABLE BETWEEN PAARL AND BELLVILLE
Mitchell said extra buses have been scheduled between Bellville and Paarl for the duration of the two-month closure and commuters would still be able to use the train service between the two destinations.
Passengers can catch the bus from Bellville to Paarl from the stops in Voortrekker or Durban Road, which are located approximately 800 metres away from the Bellville PTI.
Photo: Facebook / Premier Alan Winde