Earlier this year, robberies peaked at six to seven per week on the buses, with drivers shot and commuters robbed at gunpoint. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Earlier this year, robberies peaked at six to seven per week on the buses, with drivers shot and commuters robbed at gunpoint. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Golden Arrow on-board technology helps snare at least 15 bus robbers

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Oct 18, 2021

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Cape Town - A long-awaited breakthrough was finally made in the ongoing robberies on Golden Arrow buses, with at least 15 alleged perpetrators of bus robberies arrested over the weekend.

Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) general manager Derick Meyer said they were grateful to all role-players who had made the arrests possible.

The arrests came after on-board technology – cameras and panic buttons – were installed on the buses following a spate of robberies.

Earlier this year, robberies peaked at six to seven per week on the buses, with drivers shot and commuters robbed at gunpoint.

Meyer said the breakthroughs were the result of intensive work from their side and from the police officials involved.

“They are also the direct result of the safety features which Golden Arrow has been rolling out. The on-board camera systems fitted in collaboration with the provincial Department of Transport have been instrumental in these successes,” said Meyer.

He assured passengers and employees that Golden Arrow would do everything possible to ensure arrests and successful convictions.

“Let this be a warning to anyone who considers targeting our operations – you will be caught,” he said.

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) provincial secretary Malvern de Bruyn welcomed the arrest of the perpetrators, and commended Gabs for making sure that buses have now been equipped with cameras and panic buttons.

Cosatu was one of the unions that have been vocal about the safety of their members and commuters, protesting and demonstrating and demanding bus safety.

De Bruyn said they hoped that all buses would get the same equipment. “It is a good move for Golden Arrow. They just need to ensure all buses are equipped.”

Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell’s spokesperson, Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka, said while there were things that they as a department did to prevent and mitigate crime in public transport, the primary responsibility to investigate, arrest and prosecute offenders of criminal activity vests with the police and with the National Prosecuting Authority.

“We are confident that the technology we have installed in the buses will dramatically decrease the amount of crime and violence within the transport industry,” said Makoba-Somdaka.

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