New holding area for taxis being prepared

South Africa - Cape Town - 15 October 2019 - Cape Town taxi rank is gridlocked. Pictures: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

The City of Cape Town has identified a site on the Foreshore as an alternative remote holding area for minibus taxis which have been displaced from the Station Deck.

The site is situated on the harbour side between DF Malan and Christiaan Barnard Streets and borders on FW de Klerk Boulevard.

Work is under way to convert this site under the freeway bridge into a temporary holding facility to accommodate about 270 minibus taxis.

The work includes the flattening of the parking surface, dropping of kerbs to provide access and exit points, the installation of guardrails along FW de Klerk Boulevard, and the installation of road signs and temporary water and sanitation services.

If all goes as planned, the minibus-taxi operators will hold at this site as from 9.30am on Monday November 4, once the morning peak hour period has ended.

There will be regular cleaning services and 24-hour security at this site which will serve as a temporary holding facility until the City has concluded the planning and preparations for medium- and longer term holding facilities.

The City said its traffic signal unit and Traffic Services would assist in limiting any impact the new holding area may have on traffic flow in this area.

They said they had hosted two meetings with the displaced minibus taxi operators who have indicated they are willing and keen to move to the Foreshore site. They have also attended a site visit to familiarise themselves with the layout and to prepare for the relocation from District Six.

The new temporary holding area is relatively near to the Station Deck minibus-taxi facility with reasonable access to main routes, and is not located in or close to residential areas.

One of the unintended consequences of the recent refurbishment of the Station Deck rank is that the facility can no longer accommodate the same number of vehicles as before (“Station deck revamp”, CapeTowner, January 17).

The upgrade, completed earlier this year, included repairs to the road surface, signs, pavements and sidewalks, and repainting of the roadmarkings.

As a result, about 250 minibus taxi operators have been displaced and have moved onto vacant sites in mainly District Six where they park their vehicles while they are waiting for the next peak hour period (“Makeshift rank an eyesore, say residents”, CapeTowner, September 19). This is having a negative impact on the residents and businesses in District Six.

The City will undertake a clean-up operation at these sites once the minibus-taxis have vacated and moved to the new temporary holding area in the Foreshore. There will also be a law enforcement presence to ensure compliance. The Transport Directorate is, in the meantime, reviewing the layout of the Station Deck minibus-facility for a longer term solution to accommodate more taxis during the off-peak periods.

Last week saw security authorities and taxi operators at loggerheads about operations on the Station Deck.