A lack of adequate law enforcement means that Cape Town’s Blaauwberg sub-council will battle to move an informal taxi rank operating outside Bayside Mall in Table View to make way for road upgrading associated with the City’s Integrated Rapid Transport (IRT) system.
The IRT system, which includes a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, is due to be implemented over the next 10 to 15 years in the whole of Cape Town, while in the Blaauwberg region it will be implemented ahead of 2010. Road upgrading has already commenced along the R27 going towards Atlantis, north of the City.
Bayside Mall, zoned as a drop-off point for taxis, operates more as an informal taxi rank, with taxis queuing along Blaauwberg Road and bringing traffic to a halt during peak hours.
At a Blaauwberg sub-council meeting held on March 19, finance, economic, social development and tourism mayoral committee member Ian Neilson said the City “did not have enough law enforcement to force the taxis” stacking at the Bayside Mall to move to a new location.
If the City had adequate law enforcement, Neilson said the taxis could have been moved as soon as possible.
The sub-council has previously proposed relocating the taxis to the corner of Raats and Park drive in Table View. However, opposition from residents in the area blocked the plan.
Barbara Henninger, a resident who has lived in the area for more than 12 years, said having taxis in their area would mean more traffic congestion, unruly behavior and violence.
Henninger said residents blamed the sub-council for lack of planning when they approved development in the area.
“They approved development in the area without transport planning, they did not give a damn about it,” said Henninger.
Meanwhile, taxi associations have vowed not to move from the mall.
Du Noon Taxi Association (DTA) spokesman Terrence Mhlangatshoba said they had been told that buses would continue using the drop off points while taxis would be relocated.
“We won’t accept relocation. It will mean more commuters will ride buses. They are pointing buses at a pool of money. That’s totally unfair,” he said.
Ysterplaat Taxi Association (YTA) chairperson Thandoxolo Sotsopo vowed not to accept relocation.
“They want to steal our money,” he said, arguing that the City was trying to “kill” their business.
City spokesperson Kylie Hatton said the City would engage with taxi operators and residents in the area to find an “amicable solution”.
She said the City hoped to finalise the alternative site for taxis by the end of this month. Neilson said a site along Potsdam Road was being looked at. — West Cape News