Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT): comes under attack- two busses shot at in an Ambush near Soweto!!!

[Voir en français; Kyk na hierdie artikel in Afrikaans]

Analytical Notation by Marc Aupiais

In an incident reportedly possibly involving what those eye-witnesses noted by news service IOL: reportedly saw to be a white minibus, two of the busses running as part of the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system have been shot at in an ambush. The ambush occurred yesterday, injuring at least two people- a man, as well as a woman who is reportedly a police officer, but was off duty.

According to IOL (Independent Newspaper's) The Star, the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Khabisi Mosunkutu visited the scene of the ambush- by Klipspruit Valley Road, Klipspruit, Soweto, urging commutors to continue using the new system, he is quoted as saying:"We are ready for any eventuality." The MEC also insisted that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. The Star reports that the Gauteng Province government, is determined to continue with the advanced bus system. Measures are reportedly being taken by the Gauteng Government to attempt to ensure that the system continues uninterrupted, and without losing customers. The busses involved should return to the road on normal schedules.

On Tuesday, Taxi opperators were supposed to strike, but this was pulled off. In South Africa, the taxi industry is oft mentally associated, whether correctly or not: by the average independent motorvehicle driver: with high accident rates, illegal drivers, and illegal and reckless driving, illegal firearms, intimidation, gun battles, and crime.

The BRT system was supposed to replace Taxis as another cheap option for tourists during the 2010 FIFA world cup.

At present, only this one prima facie- terror incident has occurred, in a fashion similar to the treatment of rival taxis, or taxi groupings during a so-called "taxi war" over routes.
The BRT system, which rolled out over the weekend has thus far been successful, and received high demand. At present, only the low income earners use taxis, due to their history- it has been hoped that the BRT, along with the high speed train known as the Gautrain (due to be rolled out soon) will also ease up congestion on the roads.

ANALYSIS

While other attacks were rumoured, only this one ambush was noted to be confirmed.
Only two persons were injured, and the fact that so few bullets were shot- in fact seems not to lend weight to theories involving more than a few people. If rumoured additional attacks were true, this possibility that the incident was possibly conducted by at maximum: a few attackers- may well change.

Considering the history of the industry- the level of violence thus far has been lower than might have been expected. The attack may well have involved others than the white minibus reported, but our service hasn't noted evidence of this at present. IOL does not either note any evidence as to additional vehicles involved.

The story by IOL on this issue may be found at:

IOL (Independent; Secular; South African) via The Star's front page: 02 September 2009
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=79&art_id=vn20090902044319890C461453

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