Go George buses running again after violent week

2015-08-24 12:35
Four buses were set alight during violent protests against the continued roll-out of BRT service in George. (Eugene Gunning, Netwerk24)

Four buses were set alight during violent protests against the continued roll-out of BRT service in George. (Eugene Gunning, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The Go George bus services was back up and running on Monday, despite ongoing tensions between it and taxi associations.

The service was suspended last week after four buses were set alight and six drivers were attacked during protests over transport routes, News24 reported.

Captain Malcolm Pojie told News24 on Monday that the situation is now calm, and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is back up and running on the routes.

Nine people have been arrested since violence broke out on Thursday, and will appear in the George Magistrate’s Court on Monday afternoon on a charge of public violence.

22 minibus taxis have been impounded since Friday, Pojie added.

The Department of Transport and Public Works said it is committed to rolling out the BRT service completely, despite the ongoing opposition from taxi associations.

"The outpouring of support from the community in George is testament to how crucial this service has become to the people of George in its first three phases of implementation," Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works Donald Grant said in a statement on Sunday.

"We will continue with the planned roll-out in the next few phases to Thembalethu and surrounds."

The damage from the protests is estimated at over R15 million.

The George Municipality meanwhile has set up a multi-party task team to investigate the causes of the dispute, in the hopes of resolving the matter between the two parties.

George’s Executive Mayor Charles Standers urged the community to remain calm, and expressed his confidence that the issue would be resolved, a municipal statement read.

“Consensus was reached between the different political parties to work together in finding solutions. The task team will already commence their work this [past] weekend.

“Alderman Standers said that it is expected of all George Councillors to put aside their political differences and to show true leadership.”

Read more on:    donald grant  |  george  |  transport  |  protests

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