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The City of Cape Town this morning, 6 August 2018, suspended the MyCiTi bus service in Khayelitsha after three MyCiTi buses were stoned and two Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) buses were set alight. The service will remain suspended until further notice.
Two MyCiTi buses were attacked en route to the Kuyasa station shortly before the commencement of the morning peak-hour service in Khayelitsha; and a third MyCiTi bus was stoned along the N2 freeway just before the service was suspended.
No injuries were reported, however, at least five bus windows were smashed during these attacks.
The torching of two GABS buses also appears to be directly linked to the decision by the mini-bus taxi industry to withhold their services.
‘I was extremely concerned when the City was informed over the weekend about the industry’s plans to withhold their services as from this morning, 6 August 2018. My worst fears were confirmed when reports came through about the attacks on the MyCiTi buses and the torching of two GABS buses, also near Kuyasa in Khayelitsha during the morning peak-hour period. I was also alerted to incidents of bus commuters being intimidated and being forced off buses at Kuyasa. We had no alternative but to suspend the D01 and D02 routes operating in Khayelitsha at around 06:30 this morning. Unfortunately, the MyCiTi service in Khayelitsha will remain suspended until further notice as the City is obliged to take action to protect our commuters, personnel, and assets.
‘I want to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the violence that is often associated with protest action. It is totally unacceptable that the MyCiTi service and GABS are being targeted while we are trying our utmost to assist commuters who are left stranded as a result of the minibus-taxi industry withholding its services,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.
The decision by the minibus-taxi industry relates to internal industry leadership issues, and it is unclear when these will be resolved.
‘The challenges Metrorail is facing at the moment have displaced thousands of commuters to road-based public transport, with the minibus-taxi industry being one of the key service providers. Our commuters are the worst affected by this strike action, and either arrive late or cannot get to and from work to earn a living. To make matters worse, those commuters travelling from the Metro South-east are now also deprived of the GABS and MyCiTi bus services as we cannot operate given the risk of violent attacks,’ said Councillor Herron.
The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority will keep on monitoring the situation.
MyCiTi commuters from other areas are also forewarned about possible delays, and those commuters making use of minibus-taxis are advised to make alternative travel arrangements for the time being.
‘I am calling on the minibus-taxi industry to resolve this impasse as soon as possible. We also need their leaders to take a strong stand against violence, and to send a clear message that they are opposing the attacks on other public transport service providers,’ said Councillor Herron.
Commuters can visit the MyCiTi website on www.myciti.org.za for regular updates about the service; follow us on Twitter @MyCiTiBus; or phone the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63 – the TIC is available 24/7 for all queries related to public transport services in Cape Town.