South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) is calling for swift action from authorities after two Autopax drivers were shot at in Ixopo last night.
The two Translux drivers were headed to Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape in separate buses with each carrying 56 passengers when they were shot at. One driver died immediately. The bus he was driving came to a stop when it hit a barrier. The second driver was able to control the vehicle and engage the hand brake before collapsing. He was taken to hospital and is currently in ICU.
Workers at the state-owned company have embarked on a work stoppage citing safety concerns and are calling for the ministers of transport and police to come and address them. The traumatised passengers of both buses are being transported to Park Station.
Autopax is a long-haul carrier that operates Translux and City to City buses. Its buses usually leave for the same destination 10 to 15 minutes apart. This is likely why the two drivers were attacked one after the other.
Buses belonging to Eagle Liner and African People Mover (APM) were reportedly targeted in the same spot in July. Thankfully, the drivers were not shot at but all the bus windows were smashed. The two companies have since changed routes.
SATAWU is calling for authorities to leave no stone unturned in bringing the culprits to book.
We are also pleading with those who feel aggrieved to find ways to raise their concerns without sacrificing others’ lives or property. We have all seen the devastation caused in the trucking industry and across Gauteng communities in recent weeks. We call on all aggrieved transport stakeholders to come out from the shadows and express their concerns in a responsible manner so they can be addressed.