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

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A Golden Arrow bus was torched and a Metrorail sub-station vandalised in Cape Town.
A Golden Arrow bus was torched and a Metrorail sub-station vandalised in Cape Town.
Gallo Images/Brenton Geach
  • A Golden Arrow bus was torched in Nyanga on Friday. 
  • This after Metrorail said its efforts to get trains back on track were being sabotaged by attacks on a power station that feeds the line.
  • Golden Arrow said it would carry on operating, but from the Nyanga police station. 

A Golden Arrow bus was torched at the Nyanga terminus in Cape Town on Friday, hours after Metrorail said its train services were being sabotaged by repeated vandalism of a major power sub-station that feeds the line.

Golden Arrow stated on its social media page that buses would not run from the terminus, but from the Nyanga police station instead. 

"Golden Arrow can confirm that one of our buses and vehicles was set alight at the Nyanga terminus earlier today," its spokesperson, Bronwen Dyke-Beyer, said. 

"According to eyewitnesses, the perpetrators are alleged to be linked to the taxi industry. The motive is unknown.

"We condemn this senseless act of violence in the strongest possible terms. As a precautionary measure, we are currently operating from Nyanga [police station] rather than the terminus."

ALSO READ | Police shoot bus robber dead, two other suspects flee the scene

A video posted by the Gugulethu Times showed flames and black smoke billowing from the bus as it was parked next to the terminus.

Andile Khanyi of the Cape Organisation for the Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) told News24 it was not in dispute with anyone, and had nothing to do with the torching of the bus. 

On Thursday, the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) dismissed speculation there would be a taxi strike. 

Cata spokesperson Mandla Hermanus said it had planned a march with Codeta to the offices of the premier to present a memorandum containing a set of grievances in the industry.

They were granted a certificate permitting a march.

The organisations said they were unhappy they first had to clear all outstanding warrants before impounded vehicles could be released.

They added the N1 has been turned into a "no-go zone" for taxis, even if they were not using the suspended B97 route.

The route was suspended when the two organisations could not agree who had the rights to pick up passengers, especially in Mbekweni, Paarl. 

They were upset that taxis to or from Worcester were being impounded on allegations of them using the suspended route.

The route was suspended by Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell after a series of fatal shootings, which left drivers dead and passengers injured.

The burning of the bus comes after Metrorail reported on Friday morning that sabotage at Eskom's Bay Junction sub-station, where they park their trains, made operations on some of its lines difficult. 

ALSO READ | 'This will leave a huge hole in our pockets': Cape Town bus commuters slam Golden Arrow ticket hike

"Metrorail Western Cape has implemented additional and  immediate security interventions and undercover investigations into the attempted theft and vandalism of an Eskom cable that feeds electricity to the main traction sub-station powering the running of trains," it said on Friday morning. 

"The attempted theft and vandalism of the electrical infrastructure, on a line that has been successfully restored back to service while Metrorail works to restore the rest of the lines, points to blatant sabotage of Metrorail services which we will not tolerate" said Kaparo Molefi, the acting regional manager of Western Cape Metrorail.

Metrorail launched its full Southern Line service on the 4 January, and is adding more trains to the schedule.

"The Southern Line service is our demonstration corridor of what we are bringing in the Western Cape. The sabotage of our rail infrastructure is jeopardising the hard work of returning the service to those who desperately need it. We are determined to return the rail services and we will not cower to criminals," said Molefi.

Cape Town's delicately balanced mass public transport system relies on taxis, buses and trains, with localised individual cab companies or e-hailing services running short trips 

The City of Cape Town returned its N2 Express service to Mitchells Plain earlier in March, after an agreement was signed between taxi consortiums and Golden Arrow.

The taxi consortiums are Lisekhonikamva Rapid Transit Operator (affiliated with the Khayelitsha branch of Codeta) and Mitchells Plain Integrated Rapid Transit (affiliated to the Route Six Taxi Association from Mitchells Plain). 

The City owns the buses, and the N2 company manages and maintains them. 

Golden Arrow has previously offered a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in burning its buses, which cost upwards of R2 million to replace. 

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