Golden Arrow invited to Cape legislature to brief transport committee on bus attacks
Cape Town - The provincial legislature’s standing committee has called on Golden Arrow to brief members on how the torching of 12 buses had affected the company’s operations and what could be done to ensure the safety of commuters.
Committee chairperson Daylin Mitchell (DA) said: “The incidents have resulted in the loss of just under R29 million, and while we respect the legitimate right of residents to protest, we cannot allow this to occur at the expense of vital transport systems, which are already under immense pressure.
“I call on law enforcement authorities to monitor these protests closely and act decisively against accompanied criminal and illegal behaviour, especially in our province where the rail system is severely hampered and residents have no choice but to rely on other transport services.
“The blatant disregard by a minority for safe transport stands to have dire effects on the economy, which has already taken a hard hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as on the livelihoods of our residents.”
Committee member Brett Herron (Good) said: “Commuters already struggle with inadequate public transport and excessive commuting distances.
“It’s disgraceful that what transport is available is rendered unreliable and dangerous through senseless attacks. We must stabilise our public transport network and we must find and prosecute those who seek to destroy buses and vehicles.”
In a written response to EFF MPL Nosipho Makamba-Botya, who asked what measures he had taken to ensure the safety of commuters, Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said: “My department has engaged actively with the SAPS, urging them to take additional action to bring the perpetrators to book.
“Provincial traffic services have also increased their presence in hot-spot areas, and we have implored the SAPS and the City to do the same… Golden Arrow Bus Service have increased their own security capacity to prevent these attacks from taking place.”
Meanwhile, EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said: “On the issue of violence in the taxi industry, blame should be directed at Madikizela.
“He is failing to address the concerns and issues emanating from the provincial taxi industry.
“He must first identify the issues, then invite all parties who are involved to the table and work with them to find long-term mutual solutions. It is not enough for one to wake up and assume the problem on behalf of those who operate the taxi industry and then want to impose the solutions on them.”