UPDATE | Eskom, Golden Arrow suspend services to parts of Cape Town amid protest action

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A burnt Golden Arrow bus is seen that was set on fire by protesters in in Cape Town.
A burnt Golden Arrow bus is seen that was set on fire by protesters in in Cape Town.
Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Die Burger
  • Five vehicles have been torched in protest action in Cape Town.
  • Among the vehicles set alight were Golden Arrow buses.
  • Eskom has suspended services to the area after a vehicle was stoned.

Eskom has suspended services to parts of the Cape Flat affected by taxi violence.

This after five vehicles - two Golden Arrow buses, a council truck and light duty vehicle, as well as an Eskom vehicle - were set alight during protest action in Nyanga on Friday morning. 

An Eskom vehicle was stoned in Philippi as well, the power utility said in a statement.

Eskom said the violence was posing "a significant threat" to the safety of employees travelling in Eskom-branded vehicles.

The areas affected are Boystown, Crossroads, Luzuko, Mandalay, Marcus Garvey and Philippi.

"Unfortunately, this means that there will be a significant delay in electricity restoration efforts and customers may experience prolonged durations without electricity. Eskom Security Services is working closely with the local authorities by assessing the situation and to ensure the safety of staff when work can resume once the affected areas are safe to enter," the statement said.

City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Safety JP Smith said that five vehicles had been targeted with petrol bombs over a two-hour period on Friday morning.

The City’s service delivery vehicles were instructed to withdraw from the area immediately.

READ | Golden Arrow bus torched, Metrorail sub-station vandalised in Cape Town

It is understood that the protest action could be linked to a law enforcement operations held on Thursday to locate a taxi driver and owner who escaped from custody during an attack at the Philippi East police station last week.

"Our staff are working closely with the South African Police Service to track down the persons responsible for these heinous acts. While the motive has not been established, we suspect it could be in response to operations yesterday to locate the taxi driver and owner who escaped custody when the Philippi East police station was violently attacked last week," said Smith.

The City would ramp up deployments in the area to assist police in catching the perpetrators, but also to mitigate the risk of further attacks, said Smith.

City of Cape Town traffic spokesperson Richard Coleman said the council's LDV was set alight at the corner of Klipfontein and Borcherds Quarry.

He said:

The driver of the LDV, a 38-year-old man, sustained injuries.

Golden Arrow confirmed the attack on their buses, adding that they had been forced move their operations out of Nyanga completely. 

"Our first priority is the safety of our passengers and staff, and we have no option but to institute these measures as a result of vehicles being set alight.  

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