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Cape Town’s special needs transport suspended in wake of Nyanga’s violent taxi protest

South Africa - Cape Town - 18 March 2022 -Several busses were set alight and vehicles belonging to the City of Cape Town in Nyanga.A vehicle were also set alight on the corner of Klipfontein and Borchards Quarry.Picture Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

South Africa - Cape Town - 18 March 2022 -Several busses were set alight and vehicles belonging to the City of Cape Town in Nyanga.A vehicle were also set alight on the corner of Klipfontein and Borchards Quarry.Picture Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 19, 2022

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Cape Town - Cape Town’s commuting service for special needs citizens, Dial-a-Ride (DAR), has been suspended until further notice after a violent taxi protest erupted on Friday morning.

DAR was suspended in Nyanga, Phillipi, Crossroads and Samora Machel on Friday and will resume the service once it is safe to do so, Cape Town’s local government said on Friday.

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Cape Town’s Mayco Member for Urban Mobility Rob Quintas said the lives of commuters and staff cannot be risked in light of the violence.

Quintas added that the spate of violence is being monitored in other volatile areas which may lead to the suspension of DAR beyond the stipulated communities.

“It’s very disheartening to think that these individuals with special needs, who are most vulnerable and dependant on the City’s assistance, have to be left stranded in difficult economic times,” Quintas said.

“With the service now being suspended, residents do not have certainty about their transport to work or important appointments,” he adds.

The majority of DAR’s special needs commuters use wheelchairs and use traditional modes of public transport.

The decision came after two Golden Arrow Buses, a Solid Waste truck, a Solid Waste light duty vehicle and an Eskom light duty vehicle were set alight on Friday morning in Nyanga, IOL reported earlier on Friday.

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Mayco Member for Safety and Security JP Smith revealed all service delivery vehicles were withdrawn from the area on Friday morning following the violent attacks.

Smith confirmed the vehicles were petrol bombed.

“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,” Smith said.

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Quintas, Smith and Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer have all condemned the attacks.

Security operations in the affected areas have been ramped up to hold perpetrators accountable, prevent further attacks and subsequently prevent casualties.

A 38-year-old driver of a light duty vehicle sustained injuries during the petrol bombings.

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