STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, ALDERMAN FELICITY PURCHASE
A suspect was arrested last night, 21 November 2018, after a MyCiTi bus was set alight at the Crassula bus stop along Koeberg Road in Milnerton. Four MyCiTi buses have been destroyed in petrol bomb attacks since 15 October 2018 when employees embarked on an unprotected strike marred by violence, intimidation, and a disregard for the rule of law. Read more below:
Last night, 21 November 2018, at approximately 19:40 three men boarded a MyCiTi bus at the Crassula bus stop along Koeberg Road in Milnerton. They poured petrol in the interior of the bus and set it alight before fleeing the scene. The bus driver managed to escape unharmed. One of the suspects was apprehended and is being detained at the Milnerton Police Station.
There is some consolation in the fact that one of three suspects involved in the attack on the MyCiTi bus in Milnerton last night was arrested. The City and the community are working closely with the South African Police Service and this cooperation could lead to more arrests.
Also, the arrest was made in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act. This Act, which relates to the damage of essential infrastructure, allows for stricter bail conditions and imprisonment of up to 30 years and a fine of up to R100 million.
I want to reiterate that the ongoing violence, attacks, and intimidation are of great concern to the City of Cape Town. Our commuters have been inconvenienced, and those employees who are reporting for work are being threatened. The City, in collaboration with Law Enforcement and the SAPS, are closely monitoring the situation and buses are deviated and escorted as needed.
The losses associated with the attacks on the MyCiTi service amount to approximately R18 million. Four buses have been burnt out since 15 October 2018 to date, and another three have been damaged in similar attacks. All of these cases are being investigated by the SAPS.
The MyCiTi service operated at 85% of capacity during the peak-hour period this morning, 22 November 2018. This is a great accomplishment under difficult circumstances.
The service will be operating at capacity and in accordance with the applicable time schedules once the vehicle operating companies (VOCs) and the station management contractor have filled the vacancies left in the aftermath of the dismissal of those employees who have participated in the unprotected strike, and who have refused to return to work to face disciplinary proceedings.
About 60 000 passengers rely on the MyCiTi bus service each weekday, and I want to assure these commuters that we are, together with the VOCs, trying our best to get the MyCiTi service back to full capacity as soon as possible.
Commuters can contact the Transport Information Centre 24/7 on 0800 65 64 63 for the latest information regarding the service, or follow @MyCiTibus on Twitter, or visit the facebook page ‘MyCiTi Integrated Rapid Transit System’.