Sonke and SANTACO call on government to take swift action to ensure safety of women in the taxi industry

Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) and the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) condemn the horrific robbery and hours-long rape of a Johannesburg woman in the back of a taxi in front of her child. This is just one of several reported rapes of women picked up by men in minibus taxis in Gauteng that police are currently investigating.

Sonke and SANTACO are committed to ensuring justice is served. We are contacting the survivors to offer legal and psycho-social support and will be monitoring the case to ensure legal processes are followed. Together, Sonke and SANTACO will also call for a joint meeting with SAPS, the Department of Transport, and the Department of Community Safety to explore strategies to improve safety for women in the taxi industry.

Furthermore, SANTACO and Sonke are committed to working with government and other stakeholders to ensure that systems are put in place to ban from the industry taxi drivers who perpetrate sexual violence.

“We encourage all our taxi drivers including marshalls to come forward with any information that can lead to the arrest of the perpetrator.” Says Mr. Phillip Taaibosch, president of SANTACO. “SANTACO, working closely with Sonke, will make sure that justice is served. We will also provide all necessary support to the victim and family, particularly the child.”

“We encourage community members  to come forward with any information that can assist in the speedy resolution of this case,” says Nonhlanhla Skosana, Community Education and Mobilisation Manager, Gauteng for Sonke Gender Justice. “We call on SAPS to take urgent action to identify, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators, and we call on all relevant government departments – SAPS, Department of Transport, and the Department of Community Safety – to develop and implement strategies to guarantee safety for women in taxis and public transport generally”.

Sonke and SANTACO remain committed to preventing incidents of sexual assault in taxis and at taxi ranks in South Africa. In August last year, the Safe Ride campaign was launched in Gauteng to address the issue of gender-based violence in the taxi industry. Safe Ride, which educates drivers about gender and gender-based violence, will be launched in KwaZula-Natal on 29 March 2017 at Clermont Holding taxi rank in Durban.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Nonhlanhla Skosana, Community Education and Mobilisation Manager, Gauteng, Sonke Gender Justice, 078 971 5477, nonhlanhla@genderjustice.org.za

Karen Robertson, Communications and Strategic Information Manager, Sonke Gender Justice, 076 944 9873, karen@genderjustice.org.za

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