Some shocking scenes have surfaced from Philippi in Cape Town after a Golden Arrow bus was torched during the early hours of Monday morning. It’s understood there are no injuries or fatalities to report, but the incident is a stark reminder that this issue won’t be going away any time soon.
Protesters incinerate public transport service
There has been a spate of attacks on public transport vehicles in the Mother City since the end of 2018. Bus burnings have been more sporadic recently, but this is the second such incident within 12 days for the Philippi township.
Reports of another bus on fire in Cape Town: Govan Mbeki and Stock Road Phillipi.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) June 24, 2019
Residents took to the streets to voice their discontent on Wednesday 12 June, but those grumbles soon turned into life-threatening protest action. Angered locals torched three vehicles on Eisleben Road: A Golden Arrow bus, a truck belonging to the City of Cape Town and a car belonging to a private security company.
It’s understood that a second round of protests was responsible for another Golden Arrow bus being set alight on Monday morning. It was previously reported that two buses were burning, but that theory has since been rejected.
Watch the Golden Arrow bus burning in Philippi, Cape Town:
Bus alight. Lansdowne Rd Cape Town. Reports of more busses alight in other areas of Cape Town. Please be careful #ProtestAction @Abramjee @TrafficSA @News24 @eNCA @EWNTraffic pic.twitter.com/5p1ff4qUjn
— BOSBEER.COM (@BOSBEER2006) June 24, 2019
How much does a Cape Town bus cost?
Sadly, when these buses go up in smoke, so does the city’s budget. Torching a commuter bus can rack up bills reaching into the millions. The last couple of weeks in Phillipi may set the City of Cape Town back by R5 million:
- It’s previously been estimated that the cost to replace a completely-gutted Golden Arrow bus is R2.4 million.
- A MyCiti bus can be almost double that figure, valued at about R4.5 million.
- Between October – December 2018, nine MyCiti buses had been either torched or badly-damaged, costing the city R22 million.