Oshakati cracks down on illegal taxis

Taxis at Oshakati would need to register with the town council from 1 July to continue operating within the town’s jurisdiction.

This was announced by the Oshakati Town Council on Monday.

The council said the registration of taxis is in accordance with the Local Authorities Act and the Road Traffic and Transportation Act.

“Every taxi operator will now be required to have a registration certificate for operating the taxi in town. This certificate is valid for a period of one year,” the council’s notice reads.

Every taxi at Oshakati will also be required to have a visible registration number for easy identification purposes.

Taxi owners are required to bring along the driving licence of the taxi operator, a public transportation permit form the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS), and a vehicle registration certificate.

According to the notice, a fee of N$150 will be charged for registration.

The council says the exercise would give taxi operators access to official taxi stands, would make taxis easily identifiable, and aims to prevent crime and illegal taxis.

The council’s notice says registration is mandatory.

“Ensure your taxi is legally on the road, and enjoy the benefit of being a registered taxi operator at Oshakati,” the notice reads.

Oshakati mayor Leonard Hango on Monday said the decision was made since the council realised almost every sedan at the town is a taxi.

“Criminals are taking chances at the moment by using sedans as taxis to rob residents. Robbery cases have increased a lot. That is why we decided to come up with the idea of introducing big numbers for taxis,” he said.

“These are all efforts the council is putting in place together with the Oshana police. We also announced a few months ago that we will have a traffic department,” he said.

Oshana police regional commander commissioner Naftal Sakaria on Monday said his office has been engaging different stakeholders on the matter.

“Oshakati just got ahead of everybody. However, the transport system in the north is interlinked . . . We want a system that is coordinated to say all the taxis must be registered with big numbers in all four regions,” he said.

Sakaria said his office has met with the local authorities of towns in the four northern regions, as well as with the Ministry of Works and Transport.

“We have agreed that the ministry would spearhead the coordination and would have a workshop to orient all other local authorities so that the project can be implemented at local authority level,” he said.

He confirmed that unregistered sedans in the north are creating a loophole for crime.
Oshakati taxi operator Onesmus Josef on Monday said he was excited about taxi registration, adding it would save the transport industry.

“The registration of taxis must commence even tomorrow, because we are tired of these illegal taxis and private cars just operating freely here,” he said.

Another taxi driver operating at Oshakati, Matti Angula, said he welcomes the idea and asked that the council be allowed to give registered taxis permits.

“Every town council must be allowed to give its registered taxis transportation permits. This thing of renting a permit must come to an end. Every driver must have his/her own,” he said.

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