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Buses set on fire in Cape Town South Africa as taxi strike begins


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CAPE TOWN, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Two buses were set on fire in Cape Town, South Africa, on Monday as local taxi associations embarked on a two-day strike to protest the termination of an incentive programme.

The government of the Western Cape province, where the legislative capital of Cape Town is located, recently announced that it would end an incentive scheme for taxi drivers that encouraged safe driving practices and restricted illegal operations.

But due to lack of funds, he had to cancel the program after just over a year, prompting an uproar from taxi drivers’ associations who called for a two-day strike in the city starting Monday.

There were long lines at 6 am (0400 GMT) at bus stops as people waited for transport to work and school, a Reuters witness said.

The associations were not immediately available for comment.

A bus was attacked by an unidentified person, who shot at the tires to prevent it from running, the witness said, adding that people jumped out of windows with an injured woman.

“No passengers or drivers were injured,” Bronwen Dyke-Beyer, a spokeswoman for Golden Arrow Bus Services, which operates a fleet of 1,100 buses in Cape Town, told Reuters, confirming that one of its buses was set on fire.

She said the company did not know who was responsible.

JP Smith, Cape Town’s safety and security manager, confirmed that there were several incidents throughout the morning involving buses operated by Golden Arrow and MyCiTi, the city’s rapid transit system, but the situation was under control.

“The buses are running and they are being escorted by the police,” he said.

Reporting by Esa Alexander and Anait Miridzhanian; Written by Anait Miridzhanian; Edited by Promit Mukherjee and Mike Harrison

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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