Latest attacks on Cape public transport a violation of commuter rights
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Yesterday’s attacks on public transport infrastructure have caused unnecessary disruptions in the public transport network, and resulted in delays of service. The first of these attacks happened shortly after 14h00 yesterday when a 9-meter MyCiTi bus was torched, allegedly by a group of young people, along Freedom Way in Joe Slovo. The bus was said to have been operating along feeder route 261 when it was set alight and destroyed.
The second incident occurred later in the day, specifically targeting Metrorail, when an apparatus case was vandalised and destroyed, affecting service on the central line this morning. The equipment was reportedly damaged near Bontheuwel.
I join the City of Cape Town, Metrorail, and Cape Town residents in condemning these acts in the strongest terms. The thousands of commuters that rely on public transport daily must not be held ransom by the actions of a few criminals who have a brazen disregard for the law and the needs of others. Such acts are a violation of commuter rights and have an adverse effect on the economy of the region. By no logic can the destruction of transport infrastructure be in the best interests of commuters.
Their acts of sabotage against MyCiTi and Metrorail are an attack on the State and its agents. The consequences for these acts must be in line with the severity of the crimes committed. SAPS must act vigilantly to apprehend these perpetrators and bring them to justice.
I urge anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of these criminals to contact the South African Police Services (SAPS).
My department maintains a close working relationship with the City of Cape Town, Metrorail, and our other public transport partners to mitigate the disastrous effects of these acts of sabotage. We will continue to provide assistance where possible, in keeping with our objective to support our public transport partners in their efforts to provide safe and reliable public transport in this province.