(008274.77-E001840.93NAVRLOSUC20V)[They've been setting fire to buses. More of the same… This has been going on for years. Jan]
Cape Town – Taxi drivers have been accused of setting Golden Arrow buses alight, stoning 22 others, and intimidating drivers and other transport operators at the weekend.
Commuters at the Nyanga terminus were left stranded as they watched their bus burn.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said a case of public violence was being investigated following protests during which a light-duty vehicle and a bus were set alight on Govan Mbeki Drive.
Van Wyk said no one was injured or arrested and investigations were continuing.
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell condemned the criminal acts of vandalism and alleged intimidation on the part of taxi industry operators and drivers in Nyanga.
Mitchell said that in the past few days, reports have been received of at least one bus being set alight and 22 others stoned by irate taxi drivers, who also intimidated bus drivers and other staff transport operators in the area.
He thanked the police and traffic authorities for their swift response, which included the impounding of 56 minibus taxis in the area.
A bus and a bakkie set alight at the Nyanga terminus. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla
He said his department, including the office of the Provincial Transport Registrar and the Provincial Regulatory Entity, has been in contact with leaders of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) to discuss urgent measures to be taken to rein in their members who may be involved in these criminal activities.
Cata secretary Mandla Hermanus said they have heard of incidents relating to the burning of a bus in Nyanga. However, they could not confirm whether the perpetrators belonged to Cata, because no Cata-affiliated association was on strike.
Hermanus said a meeting would be convened by the executive today, to try to understand the reasons behind the incidents, and to come up with a plan on how to deal with the matter.
Santaco provincial spokesperson Gershon Geyer condemned the acts of violence, and hoped the police would arrest whoever was responsible for setting the bus alight.
“Santaco welcomes Mitchell’s request for a meeting to address this issue, as well as all other violence in the taxi industry,” he said.