Parents who have children using private transport to and from school were forced to keep their children from attending school fearing for their lives and safety amidst taxi violence.
This prompted parents in Nyanga and surrounding areas to march to Nyanga taxi rank to plead with taxi bosses to allow scholar transport operators to continue with their services on Sunday August 1.
Shortly after this, however, they were able to breathe a sigh of relief after the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA) reached an agreement after weeks of violent clashes over routes.
Zanele Oliphant, a concerned parent who spearheaded the march, said they had wanted to raise their concerns about the fact that their children had not been able to travel to school because scholar transport operators were being intimidated.
She said both her children were using transport to attend school in Athlone but had been unable to travel to school – or write their exams.
She said they had decided to speak to taxi operators as they needed their children to get back to school safely.
Upon hearing that the rival taxi associations had reached an agreement, Ms Oliphant said she hoped it would last.
Cata spokeperson, Mandla Hermanus, said they were aware of the intimidation against scholar transport operators, but emphasised that the association had never encouraged such actions.
He said they had advised the scholar transport operators that any intimidation should be reported to the police as well as the relevant taxi association.
Scholar transport operator, Nomvumiso Takayi, said they had appointed two delegates to represent them in talks with the leadership of Cata in Nyanga to request permission to be allowed to transport children.
She said they had told her it may not be safe to do so as their vehicles might be mistaken for taxis.
However, she added, now that the deal had been brokered, scholar transport operators were back on the road.