Four disabled Capetonians are “traumatised and shocked” after their vehicle came under attack on Monday evening.
They were travelling in one of the city’s Dial-a-Ride vehicles when they were targeted by a mob. The service is for people with special needs who cannot use conventional public transport.
The vehicle was pelted with stones and came to a standstill on the corner of Symphony Way and Stellenbosch Arterial.
“Inside‚ four commuters with special needs were sitting strapped in their seats with nowhere to go‚” said the City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport‚ Brett Herron.
“I am shocked and horrified by this attack. I cannot begin to imagine the fear these commuters must have felt while being attacked – three of them are wheelchair users and one commuter is blind.”
One of the passengers was admitted to hospital and was discharged on Tuesday morning.
“It is not an exaggeration to state that the continual attacks on our public transport system have now reached a crisis point‚” said Herron.
His office received reports that a Golden Arrow bus was torched in the same area on Monday evening.
At the weekend two men robbed passengers on another Golden Arrow bus and on September 23 a bus driver was shot and killed in an attempted armed robbery in Nyanga.
On September 18 protesting minibus drivers went on the rampage. They stoned and torched MyCiTi and Golden Arrow buses and two passengers‚ including a pregnant commuter‚ were injured.
”All of our residents must join us in condemning the violent attacks. It is the communities who are dependent on public transport for their mobility who suffer the most‚” said Herron.
Transport MEC Donald Grant announced on Monday that retired Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Ian Farlam had been appointed as a mediator in a Cape Town minibus taxi dispute.
“My department and I remain committed to ensuring that a united minibus taxi industry is maintained in the Western Cape‚ with a democratically elected leadership‚” said Grant.
“It is still of concern to me that internal divisions are threatening the stability of the minibus taxi industry and with it‚ the means of transport of many citizens in our province.
“I initiated this mediation process to resolve the impasse between the disputing groups and to chart a way forward that would result in an inclusive and democratic election of new industry leadership.”
Source: TMG Digital.