On Thursday 5 February 2015, two MyCiTi buses en route to Salt River and Hout Bay were attacked in two separate incidents. Save for one of the bus drivers who injured his hand during an attempt to put out a fire inside the bus, no other injuries were recorded.
The buses have been removed from active service due to some minor damage to the interior and side windows. These attacks are linked to the ongoing strike by bus drivers who are members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) and employed by the Transpeninsula Investments (TPI) vehicle operating company.
‘The City of Cape Town condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the violence and utter lawlessness by criminals who have no regard for the attempts to resolve this dispute in a peaceful manner. As from this morning, 6 February 2015, Law Enforcement officials have been deployed to monitor the service and to ensure the safety of our passengers and bus drivers. In the meantime, we are asking any eyewitnesses to come forward to help us identify those responsible for these despicable acts,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
The first incident was recorded at around 20:00 last night on Route 108
along Victoria Road near Hangberg. An unidentified person threw an object, which may have been a stone, at one of the bus’s side windows. No injuries were recorded to the driver or the passengers.
The second incident happened at around 20:30 last night on Route 102
along Roodebloem Street in Woodstock. An unknown man ignited something in the back of the bus after all of the passengers had alighted at the stop and then he too alighted from the bus and fled the scene. The bus driver hurt his hand when he broke a side window to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher (which all our buses are equipped with).
The services on these two routes were suspended immediately thereafter.
‘We will be investigating these incidents and if it is found that some of SATAWU’s members were involved, we will be holding this union legally responsible for their members’ conduct and the financial damages we have suffered,’ said Councillor Herron.
No other incidents were reported this morning, however, some of the bus drivers who are not participating in the strike have been intimidated. Law Enforcement officials are deployed along certain bus routes while Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, is carefully monitoring the situation.
All of the trips on the T01 trunk route
between the Civic Centre, Table View and Dunoon, as well as the trips between the Civic Centre station and the Cape Town International Airport have been covered thus far, thanks to assistance from the other MyCiTi vehicle operating companies.
The feeder routes in the inner-city, however, still have a very limited service, with the majority of routes operating on a 30-minute frequency. TCT is urging passengers to make alternative transport plans where possible as we are expecting worse delays today due to reports of intimidation.
The City apologises for the inconvenience and we urge passengers to please contact the Transport Information Centre at all hours on 0800 65 64 63 for the latest information regarding the MyCiTi service; or to follow us on Twitter on @MyCiTibus; or to visit the facebook page ‘MyCiTi Integrated Rapid Transit System’.