Intercape claims there is a direct link between the taxi industry and bus attacks

The long-distance bus company informed the parliamentary tourism committee on Tuesday of the ongoing violence in the sector.

FILE: Intercape’s Johann Ferreira said that currently Mthatha is the only place they can operate from in the Eastern Cape. Photo: Thomas Holder/Eyewitness

CAPE TOWN – Intercape said operations have been hampered by taxi operators in several towns in the Eastern Cape.

The long-distance bus company informed the parliamentary tourism committee on Tuesday of the ongoing violence in the sector.

Since the start of 2021, it has recorded more than 150 incidents, including shootings, intimidation, assaults and extortion. This year alone, there have been at least 31 stonings and 21 shootings.

Johann Ferreira from Intercape said that currently Mthatha is the only place they can operate from in the Eastern Cape. “There are some cities where Intercape cannot operate for a few months. That is Idutywa, Butterworth, Ngcobo, Tsomo, Cofimvaba, Gcuwa and Namaqua. This is a typical example of industrial cleaning, it is “that is, to get rid of a competitor. How do you get rid of them? You terrorize them until they leave,” he said.

Ferreira showed deputies a social media post containing a photo of a bus. The bus was reportedly bought by a representative of a taxi association, to introduce services in the same towns where Intercape has been banned from operating.

He said Intercape reported it to the authorities and that this particular coach was seized in Cape Town as it had no legal authority to carry passengers. “They seized the bus on a Saturday, on Sunday evening the attacks resumed in Cape Town,” Ferriera said.

He said the recovery indicates a direct link between the attacks and the taxi industry.

Harry D. Gonzalez