Police escort for Mamelodi buses

2015-07-06 06:19
Police guarding buses in Mamelodi after a week of violence. (Supplied, News24 Correspondent)

Police guarding buses in Mamelodi after a week of violence. (Supplied, News24 Correspondent)

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Pretoria - As morning dawns in Mamelodi, the township's streets are filled with blue lights as police try to ensure that buses are allowed to operate.

More than 20 police vehicles were parked outside the local depot and each bus was getting an escort of two police cars.

Violence broke out in the area last week after minibus taxi operators tried to stop commuters from using the buses being run by Autopax, to replace the Putco service. One bus driver was reportedly shot and several commuters were injured. Buses were pelted with stones and roads barricaded.

Putco announced last Monday that it would not renew three of its contracts with the Gauteng transport department to service parts of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, and Sedibeng municipalities from July 1.


On Monday morning, one commuter expressed relief that the buses were running, although not on schedule.

"The buses are not running according to schedule. Some of the buses are not here, but we are just happy that they are operating after the many days of violence," said Alex Moroko.

He said his bus was supposed to have left at 05:15, but by 05:40am it was still nowhere to be seen. He hoped the service would improve as the week progressed.

A bus driver said he was not scared of doing his job. He said people needed to be taken to their destinations.

"I'm not scared at all because I have police escorts behind me. The people need to go to work and I also need the job. The taxi bosses will not give me money to support my family," he said.

At a public meeting on Sunday, Gauteng Premier David Makhura made an undertaking to stop the violence and said the bus service would operate as normal.

Pictures: Supplied, News24 Correspondent

Read more on:    autopax  |  putco  |  pretoria  |  transport

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