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MyCiTi bus services suspended in parts of Milnerton amid protest

Angry taxi operators torched at least three cars & a MyCiTi bus stop in protest against the bus service.

Disgruntled taxi drivers torched at least three vehicles in Cape Town in protest against the rollout of the MyCiTi bus service. Picture: Natalie Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - MyCiTi bus services have been suspended in parts of Milnerton following disruptive protests in Joe Slovo.

Earlier today, angry taxi operators torched at least three cars and a MyCiTi bus stop in protest against the bus service running in the area.

Police are maintaining a strong presence in the Joe Slovo informal settlement as group of residents have joined the protesting taxi drivers.

Drivers say they've been locked out of talks between taxi operators and city officials ahead of the rollout of bus service in the area.

"We just need the permission to operate next to the buses because not all of us went to school. These taxis are our living."

The charred shells of the three vehicles dot Democracy and Freedom Way and angry taxi drivers have vowed to shut down all public transport services.

Curious onlookers lined the streets as police vehicles raced through a local informal settlement.

#TaxiProtest crowd quickly disperses between shacks. Protesters respond to approaching police by throwing stones. NM pic.twitter.com/DbSR1qkkam

Additional law enforcement and public order police have been called in to monitor the situation.

The drivers fear the introduction of MyCiTi service in the area will threaten their livelihood.

CITY OF CT RESPONDS TO PROTEST

The City of Cape Town has condemned the violent taxi protests.

The City's Brett Herron says there is no merit to claims that Joe Slovo taxi drivers will be unemployed when the bus service comes into full effect in the area.

"Their employees are going to be incorporated into the MyCiTi service, their employees are on a register to be employed."

Despite what the city claims are years of consultation, some industry members believe they have been undermined in the negotiation process.

"Other guys who have an operating licence, they took the permits and said the MyCiTi bus service promised to employ us but they left us behind."

But the municipality says it will not be bullied into accepting the taxis operating in the community illegally.

Criminal charges will also be laid against those responsible for the destruction.

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