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City of Cape Town records over R4 million damage due to taxi protest

Golden Arrow’s bus burning in Nyanga during taxi protests. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Golden Arrow’s bus burning in Nyanga during taxi protests. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 28, 2022

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Cape Town –The taxi protest which caused havoc across Cape Town on Thursday has resulted in damages which run well over R4 million, the City of Cape Town said.

The City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, said the amount of damages stem from its initial assessment.

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The protest was led by members of two of the Cape’s biggest taxi associations, the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta).

The protest was in response to a grievance against the treatment from the provincial government.

The associations handed over a memorandum to Premier Alan Winde to address the issues.

“Initial assessments after Thursday’s destructive taxi protest indicate that infrastructure damage runs well over R4 million.

“This is just based on the damages that the City is aware of, and has been able to confirm with various property owners and entities affected by the violence,” Smith said.

During the protest, three Golden Arrow buses were torched.

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Smith said thus far, they have managed to ascertain losses to the following: the City of Cape Town suffered a loss of R275 000, damage to private vehicles was estimated to R380 000 and Golden Arrow suffered a loss of R3.5m.

“These figures do not include the damage to private vehicles where we have not been able to make contact with the owners.

“Nor does it take into account the economic losses suffered by individuals and businesses because of the traffic gridlock that meant people could not get to work on time, make deliveries on time or meet their obligations to clients.

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“Not to mention the innocent bystanders who were hurt trying to escape attacks on vehicles and who would have had to spend money to pay for medical care; who might be losing out on time at work due to physical or emotional trauma,” Smith said.

He said three City of Cape Town traffic officials also received treatment after they were attacked along the N2 highway near the Raapenberg off-ramp.

Smith said the list of incidents reported during Thursday’s protest is extensive and includes vehicles being stoned, petrol-bombed, hijacking and looting incidents.

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“The City condemns these actions in the strongest terms and we call on SAPS to investigate these acts and bring those responsible to book.

“We have compiled a damage assessment report and submitted it to our Legal Services branch for consideration.

“It cannot be the case that those behind violent protests are let off the hook time and again,” Smith said.

“A video has been doing the rounds which shows a taxi driving recklessly in the Cape Town CBD and as a result, two people fell out of the vehicle while it was in motion. The City’s traffic department has handed over a case docket for reckless and negligent driving to the SAPS.

“The City has in the past instituted civil claims against protest organisers and we will do everything possible to do the same in this instance,” Smith said.

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