A 22-year-old unemployed man from Atlantis has, in a plea bargain with the City of Cape Town, committed to pay R9 000 for damage he caused to a MyCiTi bus. The man broke the side-window of a 9-metre low-floor MyCiTi bus at 5am on Sunday 6 September, as the bus driver was driving in Hoop Crescent in Saxonsea in Atlantis. Thanks to the assistance of the local neighbourhood watch and eye-witnesses, City Law Enforcement officers were directed to his residence and he was subsequently arrested.
The actual damage to the side-window of the bus, as well as the loss in revenue due to the bus being out of service for three days while it was repaired, amounted to more than R9 000.
“The City, however, agreed to this amount out of sympathy for the young man’s mother who took out a loan to pay for the damage on behalf of her son,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Councillor Brett Herron.
“I want to warn vandals that the City of Cape Town will not tolerate criminal damage to our buses and will actively pursue those who commit such crimes. Those arrested and successfully prosecuted will bear the consequences of their criminal acts.”
Each month up to 17 stoning incidents are reported to Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority. The worst affected areas are Atlantis, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Table View.
“On 5 November 2015 two minors, aged 14 and 15, were also arrested after they stoned a MyCiTi bus in Khayelitsha and they were subsequently charged with malicious damage to City property. In most of the cases, the vandals are known to the community and I want to request that our residents please assist the City and the Law Enforcement officials in identifying the culprits,” said Councillor Herron.
The damage to MyCiTi buses due to criminals attacking the vehicles with rocks and stones amounted to nearly R1,6 million for the period 1 January to 6 November 2015.
“This figure could easily rise to R2 million by the end of this year if this senseless criminal conduct is not dealt with. We need our residents to please work with us and to provide us with information that could prevent the attacks or assist us in prosecuting the criminals. The MyCiTi bus service ultimately belongs to all of us living in Cape Town and it is incumbent upon each one of us to look after it,” said Councillor Herron.
Another challenge that the City faces is the vandalism of MyCiTi bus stops and shelters, with the highest number of incidents occurring along MyCiTi routes in Atlantis, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Table View and the inner-city.
“Up to 23%, or nearly one out of every four, of the MyCiTi bus stops and shelters in Atlantis were vandalised in October; 15% of those in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha; 5% of those in the inner-city; and 3% of the bus stops and shelters along routes in Table View. In the month of June this year, three out of every four (74%) of the MyCiTi stops in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha were vandalised. Sadly, it is the commuters from these communities who suffer the most – they are the ones who have to wait at bus stops with broken roofs and glass panels, meant to protect them from the rain, wind and sun,” said Councillor Herron.
Anyone with information about the criminals is requested to please phone the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63 or to contact their nearest police station.