MyCiti bus employees were forced out of their buses at the Civic Centre by their colleagues. Photo: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The City says two MyCiTi bus drivers were allegedly held hostage by protesting colleagues who stormed the Civic Centre yesterday.

Mayco member for transport Brett Herron said: “I received numerous reports from our operational team about bus drivers who are stressed and traumatised after having been assaulted by their striking colleagues.

“The illegal strikers targeted the Civic Centre and Adderley Street stations in particular, as these stations were operational for those commuters travelling on the N2 Express routes from the Cape Flats to the central business district.

“They also blocked the red bus lane that runs along Hertzog Boulevard. As a result, MyCiTi service was suspended for several hours in the interest of the safety of our commuters, personnel and assets.”

He said they had applied for an urgent court interdict to protect MyCiTi personnel, passengers and assets against those participating in an unprotected strike.

Herron claimed the EFF were behind the strike. “The EFF is using the strike to drive their political agenda - this is a deplorable agenda centred around chaos, violence, disruption, sabotage and self-interest,” he said.

EFF regional secretary Banzi Dambuza said the striking workers had asked the EFF for help.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA regional general secretary Vuyo Lufele said he had travelled to Cape Town to speak with Table Bay Rapid Transit, which is one of the operators of the MyCiTi service and employer of some of the striking workers, but the meeting did not go ahead as workers intercepted him and told him he needed to address the City instead.

Lufele said that after he chatted with workers, who did not inform the union of their embarking on the strike in the first place, he wanted to speak with a City representative but was stopped at the entrance to the Civic Centre. He said he managed to secure a meeting with Herron at 9am today, to convey that the workers wanted to be in-sourced.

The workers have been on strike over labour broking and working conditions. Striking worker Patrick Mabindisa said they would not end the protest until they had met City officials.

Cape Times