Instead of policing the city’s by-laws, the Tshwane metro police would be escorting A Re Yeng buses into Mamelodi following threats by the community to burn them for often being overloaded.
Mamelodi bus commuters had to find other means to get to work and school yesterday after the city took heed of threats posted on social media to torch the buses.
According to the community, this was because the 45 buses were always overloaded, Tshwane transport MMC Sheila Lynn Senkubuge said yesterday.
The city’s A Re Yeng buses had taken over the Mamelodi route last year after Autopax bus service declined to renew its contract with the provincial government.
Despite the city bringing in 45 buses as compared with the 13 buses provided by Autopax, this was not enough for the community, Senkubuge said.
“The community is insisting we add more buses to the route because they feel the buses are overloaded and that they need more than the 45 buses we have offered. The community says that unless more buses arrive, they will continue overloading the buses and if they continue overloading them, they will burn them,” the MMC said.
The threat was taken seriously as the city halted all A Re Yeng buses from operating in the area. This was to protect infrastructure, commuters, and bus drivers, Senkubuge said.
Residents would have to bear with the crowded buses a little longer as the city could not procure more buses since their deal with the Gauteng provincial government was not permanent.
“The Tshwane Rapid Transport (TRT) would need a permanent contract in place before procuring more buses. That is the situation we find ourselves in. We are taking these threats very seriously and the TRT is left with no option but to withdraw the services and monitor the situation.”
Last year, Autopax pulled out of their contract with the Gauteng provincial government as it was not financially viable.
Also, the company experienced serious damage to its vehicles during unrest in the city ahead of the 2016 local government elections.