root - July 11, 2023

Residents mourn the death of Dunoon Taxi Association chairperson and MyCiTi bus vehicle operating company board member Sivuyile Tshaka.

Peter Luhanga 

Dunoon residents are mourning the death of the Dunoon Taxi Association chairperson and taxi boss, Sivuyile Tshaka, who was viewed as the township’s moral conscience. 

Tshaka, who was also a board member of the MyCiTi bus Vehicle Operating Company (VOC) Kidrogen, died on Friday 14 July in Maclear Hospital in the Eastern Cape after a short illness. He was 49-years-old.

His fellow taxi bosses at the Dunoon taxi rank described him as a man of integrity, “who would accommodate different characters, reconciled tensions in the industry and amicably helped to resolve community conflicts not related to the taxi industry”.

Dunoon Taxi Association (DTA) general secretary Qotiwe Jola said Tshaka joined the Dunoon Taxi Assocition in early 2000, starting as a taxi driver at the Dunoon Taxi Rank and later working his way up to owning minibus taxis from 2004 under the leadership of DTA former chairperson Bigboy Ncube, who was s former chief executive officer of Kidrogen.

Jola said Tshaka joined the DTA when the association only had 14 members and served for many years as the rank’s manager. He was elected as the DTA chair in 2021 and  reelected unopposed in 2022. “We did not oppose his second term. He has been our chairperson since 2021 until his death. He had no competition at AGMs (annual general meetings),” said Jola.

“His contribution to our industry was amazing. His character: very quiet guy, very listening, full of jokes. From his quality of leadership, we learned humbleness. He was the coolest guy. The best thing we cannot forget is his character. He was a leader… in his presence we didn’t feel like taxi bosses, we felt like business people,” said Jola. 

Ward 104 ward councillor Meisie Makuwa said it was unbelievable that Tshaka “is gone”.

Makuwa described Tshaka as “a humble person”.

“We lost a leader who would bring people together and resolve a lot of problems. He was a brave leader… he assisted everyone in the community, rich or poor,” said Makuwa.

She said when she served as a South African National Civic Organisation (Dunoon branch) representative before she was elected ward councillor in November 2021, Tshaka as the Dunoon Taxi Rank manager and later as DTA chairperson had financially assisted vulnerable families who had lost their family members and had to bury them in the rural Eastern Cape.

“As a ward councillor I am heartbroken to lose such a humble leader, chairperson of the Dunoon Taxi Association. I am very sad. When I think about him, I cry,” said Makuwa.

She said one would go to the Dunoon Taxi rank upset, but Tshaka would smile and say, “do not worry we will solve this problem”.

“I wish we can get another leader at the Dunoon Taxi Association like utataTshaka. I say farewell and condolences to the family.”

Kidrogen chief executive officer Andile Peter said the passing of Tshaka caught him off guard, as he had spoken to him over the phone just two days before he got a call with the news he had died. 

“He (Tshaka) was very very fine. W we even spoke about the responsibilities he has about leading our people and changing people’s lives. I received a call on Friday (14 July) that he is no more, it was quite unexpected, unbelievable. However, it has happened. We’ve lost a father, husband, a leader of the people,” said Peter.

He said Kidrogen, the DTA, Dunoon Sanco, Dunoon businesses and residents have lost a great person who was able to provide leadership and direction whenever there were challenges.

“One of his strengths as a leader was his ability to be cool and calm irrespective of the situation. Kidrogen board will never be same without him. He was able to contribute meaningfully even in complex issues. He was not a jealous person, he would support any idea where other people would benefit without him. He was a leader with values, integrity and principles. uTshaka was one of the leaders who you can’t buy his principles with money.  His passing comes at a time when the country lacks leadership of his caliber,” said Peter.

Tshaka’s memorial service will be held at Dunoon’s Sophakama Primary School on Wednesday 26 July and he will be buried on 29 July at his rural home, Gqaqhala village in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape.

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