Autopax buses back on the roads, with police escorts

2015-07-04 10:05
Bus routes get the green light in Mamelodi after days of violent protest. (Supplied, News24 Correspondent)

Bus routes get the green light in Mamelodi after days of violent protest. (Supplied, News24 Correspondent)

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Mamelodi - Calm has returned to Mamelodi on Saturday following days of violence as taxi operators opposed the implementation of Autopax buses in the township.

The buses in operation are being escorted by the police. The company was appointed to take over the routes that Putco relinquished earlier this week after it claimed they were no longer profitable.

At least seven buses have been damaged since violence broke out in the township on Wednesday. No arrests have been made.

There are no new reports of buses being stoned, and many of the intersections in the area are empty. The Mamelodi bus terminal however is still barricaded with rocks and debris.

The buses are using a soccer field adjacent to the terminal to pick up commuters.

Second meeting scheduled

A meeting to address the violence took place on Friday between the Gauteng government, the passenger rail agency of SA (Prasa) and taxi operators.

The outcomes of the meeting are still unknown but a second meeting has been scheduled for Sunday.

Government has promised that police will keep a presence in the area until stability returns.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who held media briefing in the area on Friday, said Operation Fiela would be brought to the area. He said they were in conversation with law enforcement agencies regarding the operation.

Makhura has accused aggrieved taxi owners and operators of holding government ransom because they were opposed to the modernisation of public transport.

He also alluded to the fact that taxi violence was on the increase in the province, and that Mamelodi had been a hot spot with at least eight incidents reported and three taxi bosses gunned down.

Government had prioritised the fight against taxi violence in the province, he said.

Read more on:    autopax  |  putco  |  pretoria  |  transport

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