It will be business as usual for the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) after it announced that it will be operating normally ahead of the planned national shutdown on Monday.
Also read: National shutdown: Court interdict is a publicity stunt says EFF
The EFF is planning a national shutdown with party leader Julius Malema calling on angry and frustrated South Africans from all walks of life to take to the streets in protest.
In a video message posted on social media, Malema called on the unemployed, those concerned about loadshedding, crime, corruption and gender-based violence to join the shutdown.
CIC @Julius_S_Malema addressing the #EFFPresser ahead of the #NationalShutdown
-We are coming in peace, we are not fighting anyone but don’t try us, we are not scared of fidelity pic.twitter.com/OxBkaKydQL
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 16, 2023
On Thursday, GABS General Manager Derick Meyer stated they had received a number of queries from concerned passengers about whether they would be able to get to work.
“Golden Arrow is contracted to the provincial Department of Mobility and is obligated to operate as per our timetables and we plan to operate a normal service on Monday,” Meyer said. “We are working with all safety and security agencies to create operational and contingency plans for the day and will be monitoring all operational areas.”
“We appeal to all those who participate in the shutdown to do so peacefully and to allow us to provide an essential service to the people of Cape Town unhindered and uninterrupted.”
He added that live updates about the shutdown would be posted throughout the day on the GABS Facebook page.
The City of Cape Town said it intends to be fully open for business in all respects come Monday.
On Tuesday, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis emphasised that the City’s court application was “against any attempts to incite or participate in looting, vandalism, and disruption as part of the EFF’s ‘national shutdown’ protest”.
“Everyone has the right to democratically protest in South Africa, but it is undemocratic and unlawful to threaten a shutdown of public life, and for businesses to stay closed or face dire consequences,” said the mayor.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape Education Department has confirmed that public schools will be closed for the long weekend due to Tuesday’s public holiday.
“We are aware of concerns that have been raised about the impact of the alleged national shutdown planned by the EFF on Monday,” said Education MEC David Maynier.
“I can assure parents that public schools will be closed on Monday, 20 March 2023 – as it is a previously planned school holiday.”
“The school calendar is gazetted by the national minister a full year in advance, and the school calendar for 2023 indicates that all public schools in the country have a special school holiday on March 20, 2023.”
National Shutdown: Santaco supports EFF’s protest but won’t be joining
Picture: Golden Arrow Bus Services / Facebook