Thousand of commuters in Cape Town were left with no choice but to make alternative transport arrangements after the normal Golden Arrow Bus Service (Gabs) schedule was disrupted as a result of ongoing taxi violence.
On Monday morning, July 19, a Golden Arrow bus driver was struck by a bullet through the mouth near Borcherd’s Quarry in what is suspected to be related to taxi violence, IOL reports.
Gabs issued an apology to passengers in the Mother City who have been impacted by these disruptions but reiterated that these measures were necessary to put in place after it had received further threats via social media.
“If possible, we would have continued our full operations but the situation simply became too volatile,“ Gabs said in a statement.
“We take our responsibility to our passengers very seriously and know that you depend on us to get home but today’s events made it impossible. Our drivers are scared and many of them are not willing to get behind the wheel and we understand this.”
My heart goes to thousands of people stuck in this wet and cold Cape Town weather and who can’t get home because of the #TaxiViolence. Golden Arrow buses have suspended all their services due to being targeted by taxi drivers. pic.twitter.com/lgWNAvoKWR
— Advovo (@advovolicious) July 19, 2021
Still no sign of any Golden Arrow Bus
Video :supplied pic.twitter.com/lJTVlrrj6O
— BYROooooooooooooooooN🗣️🙄 (@lukas_byron) July 19, 2021
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde convened with City of Cape Town and Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell on Monday evening, as reported by News24.
“It is simply unacceptable that a dispute over routes is now undermining the well-being and safety of our residents, and we will not allow this violence to continue,” Winde said.
Winde further mentioned that the province intends to pursue an interdict in the Western Cape High Court against unlawful operations by taxi associations along these disrupted routes, including the gazetting of an intention to close certain routes in line with the national legislation, News24 adds.
“In terms of this law, this is not an immediate step, and there must be a process of public comment, and due consideration applied by the provincial minister before any decision is taken,” Winde maintained.
Meanwhile, a resolution has not yet been reached in response to the ongoing taxi violence in Western Cape, following a high-level meeting with various stakeholders including Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, representatives of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA), as well as the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA).
With @CapeTownTrains collapsed, @MyCiTiBus withdrawn on major routes, commuters are left with Golden Arrow or taxis. Taxis are withdrawn on some routes & violence is scaring commuters off. This looks like a rail station 3 years ago. Transport Day Zero was always our real crisis. https://t.co/MaY2GbYZZ7
— Brett Herron 🇿🇦 (@brettherron) July 20, 2021