BCC to clamp down on ‘pirate’ operators

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Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has resolved to clamp down on errant motorists operating as pirate taxis to compel them to register in terms of the law.

The council said the vehicles should be registered to avoid the risk of being ticketed and clamped for operating illegally.

According to the latest council report, the upsurge in piracy by small vehicles was causing problems in the city centre. These vehicles are mostly preferred because they are more convenient.

Last month, the local authority ticketed 176 pirate vehicles within seven days in the city centre.

“The operators of these small vehicles are operating illegally and they operate from undesignated points, some of which pose danger to passengers,” said the report.

“Since these operators are illegal they do not pay council fees and government taxes, thereby encouraging other operators to emulate the illegal activities.”

BCC said the vehicles were not insured for public liability.

Council estimated, it stands to make $40 000 every six months if these illegal operators were to register in accordance with the law.

“In terms of the Road Motor Transportation Act, small vehicles could be registered as metered taxis,” said the report.

“Since there were about 500 such vehicles in Bulawayo, Council stood to make about $40 000 every six months as route approval fees.”

As a way forward, the BCC resolved to deal accordingly with the illegal operators.

“So as to address this issue, there is need for ticketing and clamping of illegal operators to be intensified and the approval of by-laws relating to this illegal business to be speeded up,” BCC said.

“An all-out inclusive operation should also be carried out to conscientise the illegal operators on the need to register and operate within the law.”