Bellville, Bloekombos-Wallacedene taxi ranks reopened

Bellville, Bloekombos-Wallacedene taxi ranks reopened

Both Bellville and Bloekombos-Wallacedene taxi ranks have been reopened, the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works said on Thursday.

Department spokesperson Jandré Bakker said the reopening followed an agreement between the department, the SA Police Service, the Bloekombos-Wallacedene Taxi Association (Bloewata) and the Bellville Taxi Association (Bellta).

“The taxi ranks have been open from 15:00 this afternoon,” Bakker said.

The announcement comes five days after Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant said the ranks would be closed indefinitely.

The closures were enforced as a result of escalating violence between rival taxi associations, Grant said in a statement. Two commuters were hospitalised as a result of the violence.

Tension erupted between CATA affiliated Bellta and Bloewata as shots were fired at the Bellville taxi rank.

Bellville, Bloekombos-Wallacedene taxi ranks reopened

Bellville residents said that the closure had a negative impact on their community.

“It is a ticking time bomb,” Bellville South Neighbourhood Watch chairperson Michael Graayenstein previously told News24.

The residents feared getting caught in shootings after two people were injured in the crossfire at the rank on Friday.

“We are left to fend for ourselves,” he said.

The Bellville rank is one of the biggest in the Western Cape after the Cape Town CBD rank.

Taxis started wandering into residential areas, lining up along a bridge, taking up an entire traffic lane, since the closures.

CATA spokesperson Andile Seyamo said that he was unable to talk about the agreement.

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