The long-distance bus company, Intercape, says it has recorded more than 80 attacks on its buses in 2022 alone.
The company says the attacks started in 2019 and have, since then, gradually increased.
Intercape’s legal representative, Jac Marais, appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works earlier today.
Marais says the company has to, on a regular basis, deal with its buses being stoned, and shot at.
Marais says there has also been an increase in incidences of extortion and intimidation.
Three of the company’s buses were attacked in Cape Town this week.
On Wednesday, one of its buses came under fire on the N2 highway near Nyanga, just before the Jakes Gerwel off-ramp.
The driver was shot and wounded, Intercape said in a statement.
A short while later, a second Intercape coach was shot at in the same area.
No one was injured and there were no passengers on board at the time.
The attacks came after a driver was shot and wounded outside the depot on Sunday. The driver was in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
In April, 35-year-old Intercape bus driver Bangikhaya Machana died in hospital days after being shot outside the company’s depot.
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The Western Cape MEC of Mobility, Daylin Mitchell, has urged National Government to provide urgent feedback on how it will assist provinces to end the countless attacks on long-distance bus services.
This, after another Intercape bus, was attacked over the weekend leaving the bus driver critically injured.
This morning I had an urgent meeting with the CEO of Intercape Bus Company together with the Provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, following yet another shooting at an Intercape bus yesterday (Sunday, 31 July 2022). Daylin Mitchell
Mitchell says: “The driver was shot at the company’s Airport Industria depot on Sunday afternoon. He is in a critical but stable condition in hospital. The continued brazen attacks on long distance buses constitute organised crime, perpetrated by a criminal element, reportedly with links to the minibus taxi industry.”
“I have instructed our officials to check and verify all long-distance bus operating licences and to impound all vehicles that are operating without- or contrary to the conditions of operating licences. I also intend raising the matter with the national Minister of Transport and my provincial counterparts in a MinMEC meeting to address the perception among bus operators that politicians and enforcement officials are failing in their duty by allowing a group of criminal extortionists to hold both the bus and minibus taxi industries hostage to their demands for price fixing by flooding routes with illegal operators while preventing legal operators from operating in certain areas,” says the MEC
Mitchell adds: “I have reiterated my instruction to Provincial Traffic to monitor long-distance bus operations and, with the support of the SAPS, be on the lookout for any ‘patrol vehicles’ that illegally stop and extort buses and other private vehicles along key routes between the Western Cape and neighbouring provinces.”
The Western Cape Government will not condone criminal acts of extortion, will not negotiate with – nor try to appease criminals, and will not allow the rule of law to be compromised.