About 100 000 bus commuters affected by Cape Town taxi violence
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Cape Town - The Golden Arrow Bus Service (Gabs) said on Tuesday that the taxi violence in Cape Town which has seen them operating a limited number of buses has affected approximately 100,000 of their commuters.
This comes after a Gabs bus driver was shot on Monday morning while transporting passengers along the N2 highway near Borcherds Quarry. The driver sustained a gunshot wound to his mouth.
Gabs spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said the company had managed to speak to the driver, who has been in service for six years, and that he was in a stable condition.
On Monday evening, commuters were left stranded as the bus drivers refused to get behind the wheel in fear for their lives.
Cape Town is in the grips of a taxi war between rival “mother body” associations, specifically the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta).
Dyke-Beyer told African News Agency (ANA) that of Gabs’ 1 100 buses, it was currently running at approximately 40% capacity, with the most affected routes being Blue Downs, Mitchells Plain and Delft.
“We are working closely with law enforcement, who are assisting us with escorts in areas of concern. What is needed most is for the authorities to find a lasting solution to the current crisis.
“Approximately 100 000 of our own passengers and thousands of others who were not able to make use of taxis and trains were affected,” she said.
A passenger travelling from Table View to Mitchells Plain on Monday evening spoke to ANA on condition of anonymity amid safety concerns.
The pensioner said she was headed home when the bus stopped at the Killarney interchange, where a large group of people had gathered. She said it was quite frightening because commuters had to jump out of the bus as some shoved forward to disembark while others pushed to board.
The Mitchells Plain bus never showed up.
“Many people did not have money for taxi fare. It was not a nice feeling. Fortunately, I got to the town centre safely .
“This morning (Tuesday) there were no buses, just one or two but nothing to go to Killarney, Blaauberg or Century (City). We just had to turn back,” she told ANA.
Dyke-Beyer said the incident at the Killarney interchange was not reported but the evening was chaotic on all fronts.
“With permission, we continued to operate until after curfew to assist as many passengers as we could,” she added.
African News Agency (ANA)