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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Four more Golden Arrow buses torched, schools affected as Cape Town taxi strike continues

This brings the total of torched buses in the City of Cape Town to 10 since the taxi strike began on Thursday.


Despite securing a court interdict to stop acts of violence against its buses, four Golden Arrow buses have been torched in Cape Town on Monday morning.

This brings the total to 10 buses that have been torched in the city since Thursday, amid a crippling taxi strike.

Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer told The Citizen: “Four buses unfortunately have been torched around the time the taxi blockade was occurring on the N2 near Borcherds Quarry, two of our buses were set alight there. Another two were set alight in different parts of Philippi this morning.”

Enforcing interdict

Dyke-Beyer said the company will be looking at all legal avenues to enforce the interdict to stop acts of violence.

“We are calling on the authorities and police to apprehend those responsible and ensure that they face the full might of the law. We should be able to transport our passengers safely. People need to get to work and we are just trying to offer a service. We are not involved in any kind of dispute.

“After the court order was granted, Santaco did undertake to ensure that members would be allowed to operate peacefully and unfortunately that now is not taking place,” said Dyke-Beyer.

ALSO READ: ‘There is no hope for us’: Santaco taxi stayaway brings Cape Town to standstill

Schools affected

Meanwhile, commuters and school children are continuing to bear the brunt of the Cape Town taxi strike, with 287 000 pupils missing school on Friday.

The volatile taxi strike erupted again on Monday after talks between the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) leaders, the Western Cape government, and the City of Cape Town collapsed with no solutions in sight.

Cape Town city officials said a weekend of taxi-related violence has now spilled over into the new school and work week.

Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier said the Santaco taxi strike has had a devastating impact on Cape Town schools.

“We assure parents that schools will be open as normal, and our contracted learner transport will continue to operate as best as possible. It is truly unacceptable that our children’s education must suffer when they have already lost so much time to the pandemic.

Appeal

Maynier said schools are doing all they can to continue with teaching and learning.

“We appeal to parents to make alternative arrangements to transport their children to school if they can. We urge our school communities to report any harassment or intimidation of pupils being transported to school so that we can take the appropriate legal action.

“We will not tolerate anyone preventing our children from accessing their constitutional right to education,” Maynier said.

ALSO READ: Taxi strike latest: Talks collapse, depot petrol-bombed, Golden Arrow interdict, rail services