File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

City of Cape Town has suffered millions in protest damage

By ASANDA SOKANYILE Time of article published Oct 26, 2019

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Violent protests cost the City of Cape Town millions, not only in infrastructure repairs, but also the replacement of burnt buses and trains.

According to the City of Cape Town, a 9-metre bus costs as much as R3.5million, a 12m bus R5m and an 18m bus R6m.

It can also take up to two years to procure a new MyCiTi bus when there is no existing tender.

It takes even longer to rebuild an extensively damaged MyCiTi station.

Mayco member for transport Felicity Purchase said it could cost between R9m and R11m to restore a bus stop such as the one in Dunoon which was recently damaged.

“Apart from the costs, commuters are severely impacted as they have to walk further to board at another bus stop or they have to use other modes of transport until such time as the vandalised/damaged stop has been repaired or replaced,” said Purchase.

According to mayco member for safety and security JP Smith, “the damages to infrastructure is easier to calculate than the cost of emergency and policing staff who were unavailable due to the requirement for them to protect loss of life and infrastructure at the sites of protest”.

Last month, Weekend Argus outlined the damage violent protests had had on the city’s roads, and earlier it reported that over R1m had recently been spent on repairing roads.

Road repairs on the N2 in Mossel Bay cost R16333, those in George R 34656, Knysna R470000, and Plettenberg Bay R609000 (including street lights, R1129989), with a separate R120000 spent on the repair of two sets of traffic lights in August.

The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) has in recent months had to invest in infrastructure repairs due to protest action.

“In Cape Town on the N2 after the Swartklip Interchange, R56835 was spent on repairs linked to public protests,” said Sanral Western Cape manager Randall Cable.

Head of communication for the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, Jandré Bakker, said the Cape Metropole and Paarl had routine road maintenance teams responsible for repairs.

“These delays and costs due to strike or protest action are unforeseen, which means that the employer (province) can be held liable for proven standing time and extension of time costs resulting from these delays if the contractor is not at fault.

“This can easily be hundreds of thousands of rand per project, per incident, which far outweighs typical costs associated with the repair of road infrastructure damaged through protest action,” added Bakker.

Golden Arrow Bus Services has also been disrupted due to vandalism over the past year, costing the company millions of rand.

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