Route B97 closed for a further four months

26 May 2022 | From Arrive Alive

The B97 minibus taxi route between Mbekweni in Paarl and Bellville will be closed for a further four months starting from today, Thursday 26 May 2022.
In July 2021, a number of violent incidents took place on the affected route as a result of tensions between conflicting taxi associations, the local Paarl Alliance Taxi Association (PATA), which is affiliated to CODETA, and CATA Boland both of which claim rights to run the B97 route.
I published a number of Notices in this regard last year, namely Government Notice 416/2021 in Government Gazette 44836 dated 9 July 2021 and Provincial Notices 77/2021 in Provincial Gazette 8467 dated 23 July 2021, 82/2021 in Provincial Gazette 8475 dated 6 August 2021, 111/2021 in Provincial Gazette 8496 dated 23 September 2021, 143/2021 in Provincial Gazette 8522 dated 22 November 2021 and 144/2021 in Provincial Gazette 8523 dated 25 November 2021.
My proposed actions were published under Provincial Notice 22/2022 in Provincial Gazette 8554 dated 18 February 2022. The final Notice setting out the extraordinary measures was published under Provincial Notice 24/2022 in Provincial Gazette 8556 dated 25 February 2022. Provincial Notice 24/2022 stated that the extraordinary measures would be in place for a period of three months. The period in respect of which the extraordinary measures apply expires today.
However, tensions between the conflicting taxi associations in the proposed declared areas have continued. A number of violent incidents, including murders, have occurred and are being investigated as part of the conflict between the taxi associations.
Violence, unrest, and/or instability in the taxi industry continue in the proposed declared areas, or between operators in those areas, which has led to the safety of passengers using the relevant services, residents, or any other persons entering those areas, deteriorating to an unacceptable level. This extension is, therefore, necessary to stabilise the situation.
In terms of the Transport Contingency Plan that was drawn up at the start of the closure period, Golden Arrow bus trips will remain in operation between Bellville and Paarl to transport commuters.
I expect that extending the closure of these routes and ranks will help to maintain the relative stability that was restored to the public transport environment in the affected areas and support the process of finding lasting peace.
I have consulted with the relevant planning authorities in the affected areas, and they agree with the proposed measures.
Closed Route
The following ranks will remain closed for a further four months from 26 May 2022:
B97 (Mbekweni to Bellville and return)
From taxi rank in Mbekweni, left into Mphakalasi Street, left into Ntshamba Street, left into Drommedaris Road, left into Oosbosch Street, right into Jan Van Riebeeck Road, into Huguenot Station, into Ambagsvlei Road, right into Jan Van Riebeeck Road, right into Lady Grey Street, left into Bergriver Boulevard, left into Main Road, right
into N1, along N1, left into Durban Road, and return.

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