Taxi drivers

Golden Arrow buses attacked during protest by taxi drivers

On Friday, two Golden Arrow buses, two Cape Town vehicles and an Eskom vehicle were bombed with petrol in Nyanga and Philippi. Informal automobile taxi drivers, commonly referred to as amapheleare accused of being behind the attacks as they protested the seizure of their cars by the traffic department.

Eskom said it suspended services to Philippes and Nyanga after their vehicle was set on fire on Friday. In its statement, Eskom said taxi violence in parts of the Cape Flats posed a significant threat to the safety of staff traveling in Eskom vehicles.

Taxi drivers we spoke to at Govan Mbeki Road said around 20 of their vehicles were seized on Thursday. One of the drivers said it was clear the City was targeting them. “They know we don’t have permits because the City doesn’t issue us one,” he said.

Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, condemned the violence. Smith said between 6:50 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., five vehicles were targeted with Molotov cocktails. A Golden Arrow bus was torched at Emms Drive at Nyanga Terminus, another at Govan Mbeki Road. A city solid waste truck was bombarded with petrol at Emms Drive and Govan Mbeki Road, and another at Klipfontein and Borcherds Quarry. An Eskom vehicle was attacked at Eisleben and Govan Mbeki Road.

“While the motive has not been established, we suspect it may be a response to yesterday’s operations to locate the taxi driver and owner who escaped when the Philippi police station East was violently attacked last week,” Smith said.

Golden Arrow spokeswoman Bronwen Dyke-Beyer confirmed that two buses were attacked. She said no injuries had been reported.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said Philippi East Police recorded cases of malicious property damage and Nyanga Police recorded two counts of arson and two counts of property damage malware for further investigation.

Swartbooi said police and other law enforcement were at the scene monitoring the situation. DM

Five vehicles were pelted with petrol on Friday in Cape Town. (Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik)

First published by GroundUp.