The stoning of eight MyCiTi buses along the N2 express routes in Langa, Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain over the weekend – the highest number in a single weekend according to the City of Cape Town – has led the city to believe that the public transport system is being sabotaged by criminals.
City of Cape Town's member of the mayoral committee for transport and urban development Brett Herron said in a statement on Monday that a passenger had to have glass shards removed from his eyes after he was injured in one of the attacks.
"Nine windows and one windscreen were smashed during these attacks. Apart from the cost to replace the windows, the buses will be out of service for at least three to four days while the repairs are being done – this in a time when we need all of the resources at our disposal to meet the passenger demand," said Herron.
He said those who are responsible must be arrested and brought to book.
"I deplore these senseless attacks. We cannot allow criminal elements to bring public transport on the Cape Flats to a halt. I urge the South African Police Service to investigate these incidents as a matter of urgency," he said.
Herron said, starting in December, the city had deployed additional buses to service Cape Town and Khayelitsha's N2 express routes to accommodate commuters left stranded by the temporary disruption on Metrorail's central line.
CALL FOR INFORMATION
According to Herron, there has been a spike in the number of commuter journeys on the routes from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, with numbers doubling from 111 109 in November 2015 to 219 157 in November last year.
Attacks on public transport services had reached unprecedented levels, with criminals looking to destabilise MyCiTi, Herron said.
"As far as I am concerned, criminals are hell-bent on bringing public transport in the metro south-east to a complete halt. They are now targeting the MyCiTi service because many rail commuters are relying on our buses to get to work and school," he said.
In the meantime, all law enforcement agencies are assisting with the monitoring of public transport routes, and MyCiTi buses are being deviated from potential hotspots.
The City of Cape Town has appealed to anyone with information about the incidents to contact the city's transport information centre on 0800 65 64 63.