KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has said security would be tightened in Ladysmith under the Alfred Duma Local Municipality following government's decision to partially reopen local taxi routes.
Premier Mchunu was speaking in Ladysmith where he was monitoring the operations of the local taxis following the resumption of taxis today .
Premier Mchunu who was accompanied by MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda also met with SANTACO and addressed various communities of Ladysmith.
Government suspended operations run by Klipriver and Sizwe Taxi associations in December following incidents of violence that led to the killings of taxi operators, their family members and relatives as well as innocent citizens.
The reopening of the local routes follows an assessment done by law enforcement agencies and the Department of Transport which showed that relative stability had been restored in the area baring this week's protests that saw the blockading of roads and five buses being burnt.
Premier Mchunu said they had requested that more police be brought into the area to ensure that the lives of people are protected.
"Security will be beefed up now more than ever before following the reopening of the local routes We also want public order police to be increased so that law can be enforced in the area," said Mchunu.
Mchunu also directed that dialogue resume urgently between Klipriver and Sizwe Taxi Association through a three a side in order to find lasting solutions to the taxi conflict.
"A lasting solution can only be found through dialogue between these two associations. In order for us to fully uplift taxi sanctions we need to be assured that they will be lasting peace and this can only be achieved through these associations reaching a compromise, " said Mchunu.
Premier Mchunu also thanked the community of Ladysmith for their patience during the shut down of taxi operations and urged citizens to bring forth any information that could led to the areas of those behind the killings in Ladysmith.
"We know that the community of Ladysmith had challenges with transportation during the shut down of taxi operations. However we appreciate that they fully supported government's decision which was aimed at saving their lives. We now call upon whistle blowers to bring forth any information that could lead to successful areasts of those behind the killings so that we can remove the bad elements that are within the taxi industry, " said Mchunu
Premier Mchunu also said all the murder cases opened with regard to the taxi violence in Ladysmith would be relocated to another investigation authority in order to.ensure they were not compromised.
Issued by: The Office of The Premier
Contact: Thami NGIDI
Mobile: 082 888 0852