UPDATE: Taxi strike called off

2017-09-18 15:28
MyCiti bus set alight earlier this morning.

MyCiti bus set alight earlier this morning. (Traffic Services )

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The provincial taxi strike has been called off, after violence erupted in areas around Cape Town on Monday morning (18 September).

The City of Cape Town confirmed that the strike was called off in the afternoon.

This comes after a day of chaos and vandalism in the city, after two buses – one Golden Arrow bus and one MyCiTi bus – were set alight, in Delft and on the N2 incoming from the R300 respectively.

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, says two passengers, including a pregnant commuter, were injured this morning when a MyCiTi bus was stoned in Khayelitsha. 

“One commuter was hit in the face by a flying rock and a pregnant commuter fell during the violent attack near the Kuyasa stop. Both women were severely traumatised and admitted to hospital for treatment.

“As at 11:00 this morning, four MyCiTi buses had been stoned – in Dunoon, Mfuleni and Khayelitsha – and one bus had been set alight and burnt out in a separate attack that took place on the N2 highway under the Symphony Way bridge.”

Herron says he is appalled by the violence and intimidation associated with the strike action by local taxi drivers. 

“There is absolutely no justification for this criminal behaviour by those who prefer stones, threats and fire to peaceful protest and negotiation. We will continue to monitor the MyCiTi routes. Route deviations and the suspension of services will remain in place until further notice in the interests of the safety of commuters and MyCiTi personnel.”

Metro officers were also attacked this morning, but luckily none were injured, says Mayco member for safety and security and social services, JP Smith.

He says three traffic vehicles were stoned and several commuters were also injured during the violence.

“Metro Police, Traffic Services and Law Enforcement officers were deployed around the City to assist with managing traffic and restoring law and order. This violent behaviour and blatant aggression against innocent residents will not be tolerated.

“The City is doing everything possible to ensure that we protect and support the general public and motorists and commuters on our public roads. During a state of public disorder or public violence, the police are in charge of coordinating and commanding the situation. Operational control then vests with them. All available City enforcement and emergency staff have been deployed to respond to the public violence and all standby staff were called up.”

Smith says that incorrect information was also circulated claiming that the Safety and Security Directorate had refused to deploy staff. 

“These unsubstantiated rumours undermine the dedicated staff who put their lives on the line to safeguard people and property.”

The situation is calm, but the City will return to affected areas to clear the backlog tomorrow (19 September), provided the situation has stabilised by then.

Golden Arrow's Bronwyn Dyke-Beyer says the company will be running a limited service on Monday afternoon and delays are expected.

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