Permit row leaves five George BRT busses torched


George police have reportedly remained on high alert after disgruntled taxi drivers yesterday set fire to at least five brand new busses belonging to the town’s Go George Bus Rapid Transport system, in a row over the issuing of permits.

According to the George Herald, the chaos started when one of the busses was pelted with stones after taxi owners had blockaded the route heading into Thembalethu township. The bus, which had been undergoing a trail run, was taken to the Thembalethu police station where its tyres were set on fire shortly afterwards.

Hours later, another four busses went up in flames at different locations across the city, while a further six suffered damaged bodywork and broken windows after being attacked with stones and bricks. It has also been claimed that four houses were burned down during the attacks.

The remaining busses were later escorted under heavy police presence back their York street depot and locked-up.

“This situation broke out suddenly today, and we have to look at all the facts and analyse the course of events before we can comment,” George mayor Charles Standers was quoted by the paper as saying.

It has since been reported that Provincial Transport MEC Donald Grant will visit the area today in attempt to lower tensions about the system.


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