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Groups of criminal individuals have assaulted bus drivers, destroyed essential assets, and disrupted public transport services in Nyanga, Philippi East and on the N2 freeway.
Consequently, thousands of commuters were either late for work or never reached their destinations at all. Some would have lost their income, and once again the most economically vulnerable among us are the victims of this senseless ungovernability campaign.
The cost to our economy is enormous and of grave concern is the impact of the lawlessness and violence on our democracy.
We are yet to be informed of the reasons for these attacks, but we do know it was an orchestrated effort and that it happened simultaneously at different spots across Nyanga and Philippi East. Importantly, we welcome the fact that our partners in the taxi industry have disowned and condemned these attacks.
The City of Cape Town will not tolerate this anarchy and the erosion of the majority’s commitment to resolving differences in a peaceful manner; neither will we allow a small group of thugs to disrupt the lives of law-abiding residents.
At 11:20 this morning, Transport for Cape Town suspended the N2 Express service to Khayelitsha with immediate effect, after criminals stopped a MyCiTi bus on Mew Way. The passengers were forced to disembark, where after the driver managed to drive away before the thugs could set the bus alight.
The service to Khayelitsha will only resume once the situation has stabilised.
In a separate incident this morning at 08:15, one of the nine-metre low-floor buses operating on the MyCiTi N2 Express service was stoned on the N2 freeway close to Borchards Quarry en route to the Civic Centre station from Khayelitsha. Miraculously nobody was injured, however the windows were badly damaged and the bus had to be withdrawn from the service.
The N2 Express service to Mitchells Plain and the service between the Cape Town International Airport and the Civic Centre station have not been affected at all. However, passengers should please expect some delays due to the unrest.
In addition, the City condemns the attacks on the buses owned by Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), one of the key role-players in the public transport sector in Cape Town. Eleven bus drivers were assaulted during these attacks in Nyanga and Philippi East during the morning peak hours. Fortunately the passengers escaped unharmed.
A total of seven GABS buses were torched and completely destroyed, with another four buses extensively damaged by stones and rocks. As a result, GABS suspended its services in these areas until further notice.