Cape Town - As provincial authorities in the Western Cape announced the suspension of violent strike action by taxi operators in Cape Town and surrounds on Monday afternoon, the City of Cape Town reported two commuters, including a pregnant woman, were injured when a MyCiTi bus was stoned in Khayelitsha earlier in the day.
In a media statement, MEC for transport and public works Donald Grant said he held a meeting with the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and another group who identified themselves as an industry "Task Team".
"While many of the concerns are yet to be resolved, there was agreement that both parties would willingly and freely enter inter a departmentally facilitated mediation process, as well as inform all of their members to cease strike action with immediate effect, while we embark on this mediation process," Grant said.
Taxi drivers are reportedly unhappy with Santaco leadership ahead of an election conference.
"The mediation process will seek to explore, in relation to the upcoming regional and provincial elections, the key areas of concern, while identifying the root causes of disagreements and finding long term solutions," the MEC said.
Meanwhile, the latest reports from the City of Cape Town suggest that at least two MyCiTi bus commuters were injured in Khayelitsha during the chaos on Monday.
"One of the commuters was hit in the face by a flying rock and the pregnant commuter fell during the violent attack near the Kuyasa stop. Both women were severely traumatised and admitted to hospital for treatment," said mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron.
Herron said at least four MyCiTi buses were stoned in Dunoon, Mfuleni and Khayeltisha, while one bus was gutted after it was set alight on the N2 highway.
"The Phoenix MyCiTi station, as well as four other MyCiTi stations – Dunoon, Usasaza, Circle East and Killarney – have been closed until further notice."
Golden Arrow said it would be operating a limited service due to the violence. At least one of its buses were burnt out, while at least 150 windows smashed by rocks. Unconfirmed reports, the bus service said, suggest drivers and passengers were affected but no life-threatening injuries were reported.
The City condemned the violent strike action, calling on police to arrest those involved in the attacks.
"I am appalled by the violence and intimidation associated with the strike action by local taxi drivers. There is absolutely no justification for this criminal behaviour by those who prefer stones, threats, and fire to peaceful protest and negotiation," said Herron.
"This violent conduct is shameful and the South African National Taxi Council must take responsibility for their members’ conduct."