Pretoria - The Tshwane Taxi Industry has intensified security measures to protect vulnerable students, commuters and its members against criminal syndicates.
McDonald Makata, spokesperson for the industry in Tshwane, said they had intensified their operations after criminals robbed passengers in a 65-seater bus in Soshanguve last week.
Following a meeting yesterday, the taxi operators committed to deploying more monitoring teams, some of whom will wear reflectors while others will be camouflaged as ordinary citizens in hot spots like Pretoria Central, and Soshanguve, and other areas with tertiary institutions.
Makata, on behalf of the SA National Taxi Council and National Taxi Alliance, said Pretoria was home to a lot of tertiary institutions that attracted thousands of young people from across the country, but some fell victim to thieves who robbed them of their money.
He said they had over the past two months noticed an increase in attacks by criminals posing as commuters.
“In December we held some awareness campaign. We arrested suspects in Hammanskraal, Orchards and Soshanguve. The crimes have since decreased.
“What we are saying is that the bus sector must mobilise and root out these criminals, and if they want our help they can say so and we will definitely assist them because we are all in the transport industry.”
However, Makata said new students were still very vulnerable.
“I just came out of another meeting where we took a decision to alert our taxi queue marshals to ensure that students who need to go and register at higher education institutions are escorted.
“We will be doing that voluntarily because it always lands on our shoulders to take these young people back home when they are crying because they were scammed or robbed,” said Makata.