City of Cape Town goes to court over ‘violent’ MyCiTi bus strike

17 October 2018 - 18:59
By Timeslive
Hundreds of employees of the MyCiTi vehicle operating companies started an unprotected indefinite strike on October 15 2018
Image: Ashraf Hendricks Hundreds of employees of the MyCiTi vehicle operating companies started an unprotected indefinite strike on October 15 2018

The City of Cape Town said on Wednesday it would go to court to get an interdict against people participating in an “unprotected strike that has turned violent”.

The city approaching the courts – which it said in a statement issued shortly after 5pm would happen “within the next few hours” – was an attempt to “protect MyCiTi personnel‚ passengers‚ and assets”.

It also accused the EFF of being the “mastermind” behind the strike.

“Two female bus drivers were held hostage‚ passengers were chased out of the MyCiTi stations‚ MyCiTi buses were stoned‚ along with further acts of intimidation‚ assault‚ and the blocking of roads.

“Some of the drivers who reported for duty this morning were forced out of the MyCiTi buses which were already servicing their routes. The strikers even went as far as to steal the buses’ keys‚” the city said in a statement.

It accused the EFF of using the strike to “drive their political agenda”.

“This is a deplorable agenda centred around chaos‚ violence‚ disruption‚ sabotage‚ and self-interest. They have no respect for the residents of this city‚ neither the thousands of commuters who rely on the MyCiTi service‚ nor do they care about those whom they have enticed into participating in this strike‚” the city charged.

“Those participating in the unprotected strike are not getting paid while absent from work‚ and they will face disciplinary action once they return to work. One wonders whether the EFF will contribute to their salaries to make up for the shortfall by the end of the month‚ and whether the EFF will pay for their legal representation‚ given that the unions have urged their members to refrain from participating in this wildcat strike.

“A wage agreement was reached as recently as May this year‚ following a protracted four-week strike in April. Thus‚ the current unprotected strike is inexplicable‚” the statement added.

Councillor Brett Herron‚ mayoral committee member for transport and urban development‚ condemned violence which took place on Wednesday morning.

“I received numerous reports from our operational team about bus drivers that are stressed and traumatised after having been assaulted by their striking colleagues. The illegal strikers targeted the Civic Centre and Adderley Street stations in particular‚ as these stations were operational for those commuters travelling on the N2 Express routes from the Cape Flats to the central business district‚” said Herron.

He added: “We will soon approach the Western Cape High Court for an urgent interdict against those who are preventing the service from operating by resorting to violence and using intimidation tactics.”

The city advised commuters to make alternative travelling arrangements as the MyCiTi bus service had been “severely interrupted” due to the wildcat strike.

Questions have been sent to the EFF for response‚ which will be carried in a follow-up story.