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George residents torch buses in protest against BRT system

The municipality’s rollout of the Go George buses has been met with resistance by some taxi groups.

FILE: It’s believed the chaos is happening close to the N2 near Thembalethu township. Picture: Picture: Werner Vermaak @wervermaak.

CAPE TOWN - Five buses have been set alight in George, Western Cape, in what's believed to be a protest against the town's Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system.

The municipality's roll-out of the Go George buses has been met with resistance by some taxi groups who claim they were not properly consulted.

It's believed the chaos is happening close to the N2 near Thembalethu township.

The municipality's Chantel Edwards-Klose said, "The executive mayor of George Alderman Charles Standers has confirmed that a protest action is currently taking place in Thembalethu. Traffic in the CBD has also been affected due to the protest. The incidents is being investigated and police are being deployed to the area of unrest."

Southern Cape - GEORGE: #ProtestAction Taxi related, road closures around Fourways Intersection, via @TamTanZA pic.twitter.com/Va7VXAifnL

3 more buses well alight near #GardenRouteMall in #George. Apparently people are urged to avoid the area. #Protests pic.twitter.com/HWm7ruE7mf

Bus well alight near depot in #George. pic.twitter.com/iYRzvHSiBk

The Go George bus service has been suspended amid violent protests in the area.

Police and traffic officials are monitoring the demonstrations which have spilled on to the N2 and the CBD.

Edwards-Klose said, "Go George passengers are safe but all Go George services are temporarily suspended until the situation has been stabilised."

The George Taxi Association's Cornelius Esau says they are trying to calm the situation.

"The place is volatile, there sit still sporadic shooting of members of the community and taxi people by the. From our side as leadership, we are trying to get the situation under control."

Picture: Werner Vermaak ‏@wervermaak.

Meanwhile, several people have been taken into police custody.

Authorities are trying to restore calm to the Southern Cape Town.

Police's Malcolm Potjie says the situation is still volatile.

"We are monitoring the situation closely with the deployment of our members. We are following all leads and so far we've arrested those we believe might be involved in the torching of the buses and we've also brought in a few people in for questioning at this stage."

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