Go George Service Resumes After Calm Restored and SAPS Arrests Nine Suspects
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Following last week’s (19 August 2015) contemptible arson and vandalism attacks, targeted at the George Integrated Public Transport Network (GITPN), law enforcement agencies have worked hard to restore calm, allowing the service to resume in parts since Friday afternoon. The full service is set to be restored at the beginning of the new week.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has also made several arrests of persons suspected to be responsible for the attacks, with Provincial Traffic Services impounding a number of minibus taxis during various operations and vehicle check points (VCPs) across George. The most recent update out of George indicates that a total of nine arrests were affected by law enforcement agencies, with more arrests expected. All nine persons are expected to appear in the local Magistrate’s court on Monday, 24 August 2015, on charges of public violence.
Suspects will be facing charges related to:
- The setting alight of four buses.
- The damaging of an additional two buses.
- Other incidents of damage caused to property related to the unrest.
Damage is estimated at over R15 million.
I should like to commend the SAPS and our Provincial Traffic Services for their swift and decisive action in response to what was a highly volatile situation. We, the Western Cape Government, George Municipality, law enforcement agencies and stakeholders, remain committed to providing an affordable, scheduled, safe and reliable service to all the George commuters, contributing to an improved quality of life and much better access to opportunities. The outpouring of support from the community in George is testament to how crucial this service has become to the people of George in its first three phases of implementation. We will continue with the planned roll-out in the next few phases to Thembalethu and surrounds.
The George community can be assured that we will not be deterred by criminal acts and dissent from seeing this nine year partnership project between all three tiers of government, and the local minibus taxi and bus industry, reach fruition.
We will continue to work together to maintain calm, and ensure the safety of the many commuters who now rely on the Go George service to get to and from their various destinations.