The issue of lawbreaking taxi drivers in Table View has come up again.
At this month’s Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF) meeting, Table View residents complained that taxi drivers continued to break traffic laws with seeming impunity.
Taxi driver behaviour, they said, was particularly bad around Bayside Mall. The taxi drivers also drove in MyCiTi bus lanes and acted aggressively, with little response from the authorities, the residents claimed.
Last year, Tabletalk reported on a partnership between the City of Cape Town and Bayside Mall management to reduce taxi transgressions in the area by stretching the arm of the law (“Bayside joins City to monitor traffic”, Tabletalk, November 2, 2016).
About 40 people attended the meeting at Sunningdale Primary School on Monday April 24.
The residents also complained about informal trading on Blaauwberg Road next to Bayside and on Sandown Road.
Responding to the complaints, law enforcement’s Wayne Aldridge said the unit patrolling Table View was vastly understaffed.
“We need to change our staff – some of our members are taking three hours to travel from their stations to get here,” he said.
Mr Aldridge, however, stressed that the traffic department, and not law enforcement, was responsible for handling taxi transgressions.
“We are actually not here to deal with the congestion caused by the taxis. The traffic department needs to come on board. The issues we deal with… are the informal trading and vagrants,” said Mr Aldridge.
He urged the community to work with law enforcement in not encouraging vagrants.
“You need to educate others in your communities, and take responsibility for your actions. Do not leave your stuff out for vagrants. There are between 30 to 40 vagrants living in the area. Why are they here? Because they pick up your stuff you give away.”
He remonstrated with a resident who posed further questions about taxis. “You guys always complain when we do something wrong,” said Mr Aldridge. “You never say ‘well done’ when we get it right despite our successes and despite the challenges we face.”
Ward 107 councillor Nicky Rheeder said City officials had met and would continue to meet with taxi organisations to iron out problems.
“Taxis are here and they are not going to go away. It is up to the City to provide the legal space for them to stop and park and pick up passengers and many operators do actually comply with their allotted parking spaces on Sandown Road,” she said.
Ward 113 councillor Dr Joy McCarthy said that while many of Table View’s 126 parks and 18 green belts were plagued by vagrants, a few were “superb-looking” and well-cared for.
“If we take ownership then vagrants won’t use them – they’ll go elsewhere,” she said.
Another thorny issue raised at the meeting was the pick-up point for job-seekers in Boy de Goede Circle at the bottom end of Blaauwberg Road.
“Again it’s a matter of trying to educate people to pick up the people at a taxi exchange rather than causing congestion and littering where there are not enough facilities here,” said Ms McCarthy.
Stephen Twine, a GTAF member, asked for an update on the growing water crisis, and Ms McCarthy, who also serves on the City’s utility services board, assured him that desalination was the next step in saving the city from running out of water.
* For more information about GTAF, visit www.gtaf.org.za or their Facebook page.