The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport is turning to technology to help quell taxi route wars between associations in the province.

The taxi industry around South Africa is plagued by violent wars, often leading to the deaths of industry players and innocent commuters, caused by fights over lucrative routes.

An ad hoc committee into taxi permits and licencing, set up by the provincial legislature, recently tabled an inquiry report after holding a number of hearings in a bid to transform, modernise and incorporate the public transport sector sector into an integrated, reliable, safe, affordable, efficient and sustainable public transport system.

Among the committee recommendation is that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) be appointed to geo-map all taxi routes in the province.

This will produce a geo-coded, electronic database of all routes in Gauteng, that will assist in resolving route disputes between associations and operators, and support the designing of an integrated public transport network with a defined hierarchy that includes the industry.

Gauteng MEC for Transport, Ismail Vadi, has said the department supports this and a few other recommendations in its efforts to effectively regulate the operations of taxis in the province, with the aim of bringing stability and safety for all stakeholders and eradicate harmful conflicts and violence in the taxi industry.