Several buses torched in Khayelitsha as taxi strike looms

The incidents left many commuters stranded.

Two buses were set alight in Khayelitsha on Monday in two separate incidents, as taxi drivers embark on a two-day strike in Cape Town.

Western Cape police confirmed the incidents and said the first incident happened at Mongezi and Pama Road where a Golden Arrow bus was torched.

The other incident happened at Japhta K Masemola Road, involving a MyCiti bus, which was also torched. Another bus was reportedly hijacked with commuters on board.

The incidents left many commuters stranded with no other mode of transport to use to get to their respective workplaces.

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Suspension of Blue Dot taxi programme

The South African National Taxi Association (SANTACO) in the Western Cape planned the two-day shutdown due to the suspension of the Blue Dot taxi programme.

The provincial government announced that the project would cease at the end of the month due to lack of funding.

The project aims to improve the quality and safety of the service provided to the passenger and achieve empowerment in, and transformation of, the industry. It also addresses two of the industry’s most challenging issues, namely illegal operations and violent conflict.

Case of malicious damage to property

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said they were on high alert together with the Cape Town’s metro police and traffic services to deployed officers at strategic positions.

“A case of malicious damage to property has been opened and no arrests have been made as yet,” said Potelwa.

The chaos ensued in the area despite the taxi association promising a peaceful stayaway.

“Meanwhile engagement with the organisers of the march and relevant authorities remains an open option in efforts to ensure the safety of all inhabitants of the Western Cape. Law enforcement agencies respect the right of the aggrieved parties to strike. However, such action must be undertaken within the confines of the law,” said Potelwa in a statement on Sunday.

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