CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape Transport Department has labelled recent arson attacks of a MyCiTi bus and Metrorail infrastructure as acts of sabotage.
Over the weekend a MyCiTi bus was torched in Joe Slovo Park. Metrorail infrastructure has over past several days been vandalised and destroyed.
As a result, more than 20 trains were cancelled on the central line on Tuesday morning.
Over the past few weeks, numerous trains have also been set alight by angry commuters at Cape Town Station and in Nyanga.
Provincial Transport MEC Donald Grant says these acts are a violation of commuter rights.
“If people are not able to have a choice between their mode of transport or exercise their right to travel to where they need to go, it is going to detract from economic growth and job creation.”
The MEC says that commuters that rely on public transport should not be held to ransom.
“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.”
Grant says that the attacks on public transport infrastructure have caused unnecessary disruptions in the public transport network.
“The first of these attacks happened shortly after 2pm yesterday when a nine-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.”
The MEC has urged people to contact the police with information that may lead to the arrest of suspects.
“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.”
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)