With the recent spate of attacks on Golden Arrow buses, commuters are left fearing for their lives. In recent days, a commuter from Khayelitsha was killed during a robbery attack on a bus in Lawulo Road in Khayelitsha. Frustrated commuters have since expressed their frustration, stating they are no longer safe on a service they pay a lot of money for.
“For the past few months I have been traveling on the bus opposed to the train or taxis for safety reason, but with the recent attacks on buses, which cost almost twice as much as a train ticket, I no longer feel safe,” said Amanda Isaacs*.
“I feel like my life is in great danger every single time I board a bus. As a commuter, I’m left sitting in a bus praying that we don’t fall victim to any bus attack which is ridiculous,” said Chris Manuals* who travels from Mitchells Plain to Century City.
“Safety measure or standards have decreased on these buses. Buses used to be the safest mode of transport but now even trains have upgraded their security measures, but the buses seem to not have any safety measures in place,” said Sam Adonis*.
An elderly commuter said he does not fear being robbed, but rather being hurt or even killed in the process.
“I don’t feel safe at all. We always hear on TV or Radio how people get robbed, which happens even when you just walking to a shop, but what scares me the most is that these criminals hurt innocent people, we are stabbed, physically handled and even killed which would leave anyone terrified but we have no choice but to use public transport. What concerns me the most is no proper system has been implemented to address the issues,” he said.
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said Golden Arrow has since approached then to assist with security measures.
“Some time ago Golden Arrow bus services asked us for assistance like the assistance we offered PRASA. We told them we would help them if they covered some of the cost involved,” he said.
Smith said as soon as the agreement has been finalised, security will be deployed to buses in uniform and in normal clothing.
When asked what the agreement entailed, Smith said they are unable to disclose any information at this stage.
“What we can say is that officers will be paid to patrol on buses dressed in uniform and some will be undercover. We will do random searches on buses if we detect any suspicious behaviour,” he said.
When asked whether the initiative will only be implemented in areas where attacks are rife, Smith said it would be unwise to only focus on certain areas as criminals will then target other areas.
“There is no point in answering this because you don’t intend to display your strategy for those involved in the attacks. In any event, no strategy like that remains consistent even if you concentrate resources to one area, crime will move to another. At this stage, we will be deploying security in accordance to assessments done by Golden Arrow and SAPS.”
Smith said it is only a matter of time before the initiative will be implemented.
“In terms of the agreement, it will only be implemented once we get the go-ahead from Golden Arrow. However it is safe to say that it is only a matter of time before the plans are set in place,” he said.