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R544 470 for broken bus windows in one year

A bus with shattered front window pane.
Damage through an incident such as this can cause the driver to lose control of the bus as his vision is suddenly obstructed by the shattered glass. It could result in serious injuries and death of passengers and staff on the bus. The replacement cost in this case was about R20 000.

A total of 38 incidents of stone-throwing at GO GEORGE buses have been reported since April last year. The repair of damaged bus windows during this period has cost the George Public Transport Network (GIPTN) R544 470. 

“Vandalism of GO GEORGE infrastructure and buses is a serious concern as it affects the quality of the service experience of our passengers and detracts from our mission of delivering a dignified and safe public transport service,” said Morné Lakay, GO GEORGE Manager. “A damaged bus is taken out of service for repairs, which places pressure on the existing fleet. Delays in coordinating a replacement bus may lead to a ripple effect where the service for the day runs late.”

According to Lakay, acts of vandalism often occur as a prank and may not be seen as a crime. “But damaging public property is a criminal offence and culprits will be treated as such and prosecuted, ending up with a criminal record. Throwing stones at a bus is a senseless act of vandalism. It endangers the lives of passengers and staff and can cause serious injuries.” 

Most at risk are buses – damage to windows as well as seats inside the bus – and public infrastructure at the bus stops such as glass panels and service information stickers in the bus shelters. 

Lakay says they are appealing to the community to become involved by promoting ownership and territorial responsibility towards buses and bus facilities in their area. “We need the help of parents, teachers, community influencers, youth leaders, religious and business organisations to instil the right values in youngsters, to make them understand the consequences of their ‘pranks’ and to put a stop to the senseless attack on a service that benefits their own community.” 

GO GEORGE appeals to the public to discourage and help stop vandalism and to report any vandalising activities by phoning the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044. Photos of the culprits in the act, without endangering the photographer, will be very helpful.

In a case like this, a stone or brick thrown at a bus could break through the window and land on passengers. It costs R19 100 to replace this window. GO GEORGE appeals to the public to discourage and help stop vandalism.

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