Table View residents are no strangers to the lawless behaviour of taxi drivers who have been witnessed transgressing many by-laws in the neighbourhood, particularly outside the Bayside Mall vicinity.
Now an initiative between the City of Cape Town and Bayside Mall management aims to reduce taxi transgressions in the area by stretching the arm of the law.
The City and Bayside Mall Management entered a formal memorandum of agreement which will see two law enforcement officers deployed between 6.30am and 8.30pm, seven days a week to patrol on foot in Raats Drive and Blaauwberg Road bordering Bayside Mall.
The project, which is hoped to be implemented on December 1, will see officers patrol the area focusing on by-law contraventions and taxi transgressions. Six officers will be deployed and work three shifts, so that two officers are monitoring the area at a time.
“After several months of discussion and consultation with the City, they have agreed to deploy law enforcement officers to the Bayside Mall precinct.
“The officers will patrol the area to enforce taxi transgressions and traffic regulations,” said Bayside Mall spokesperson, Jeanne-Mari Greyling.
The project is bound to be welcomed by the community as many residents have voiced their frustrations in recent months regarding the increase in taxi lawlessness in the area as reported in Tabletalk (“Table View residents demand taxi solution,” Tabletalk, Wednesday September 28)
Table View resident Werner van Tonder questioned why there were no traffic officers to apprehend offenders during 6am to 8am and 3pm to 5pm .
Table View resident Jackie Bailie also described an incident in which a taxi had reversed towards her threateningly when she hooted at it for not moving through a green traffic light (“Table View taxi trouble revs residents,” Tabletalk, September 7).
Although the project has yet to commence, the initiative is hoped to bring about some improvement on the road for residents and shoppers in the Bayside region.
Mandy da Matta, the chairwoman of the Table View Ratepayers’ Association, said that permanent law enforcement at Bayside Mall is a welcomed initiative, as the area is in desperate need of it.
“The lawlessness of the road users, most specifically the taxi drivers, has increased ten-fold and the unlawful informal traders are back on the pavement. Each and every time that the limited law enforcement activity goes elsewhere, to combat crime, the unlawful actions return. This joint effort by both the management of Bayside and the City is wished success as this will encourage proper utilisation of the facility and increase the safety standards,” said Ms Da Matta.
Some residents shared their approval on the Ward 107 Facebook page where Elizabeth Anderson said: “Great news (as)these taxis are a danger to other drivers.”
Audrey d’Almeida commended the initiative and said “Kudos to all!”
Sanette Huysamen advised that a traffic officer should monitor the area opposite McDonald’s, which she regarded as a nightmare for staff to get in and out of, due to taxis blocking the entrance there.
Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport, said the need to strengthen law enforcement in the area arose from the continuous unlawful behaviour of some taxis in and around the Bayside Mall.
“Bayside Mall will be funding the project. The budget will be finalised once the recruitment process has been concluded. It is envisioned that a continual uniform visibility will curb anti-social behaviour and the illegal activities by some of the minibus-taxi operators.This is a pilot project seeking to achieve a positive outcome to long-standing challenges in this area.
“We are confident that the public-private partnership will be beneficial to the residents, shoppers, business owners, minibus-taxi commuters, as well as those operators who are not involved with illegal activities,” said Mr Herron.