GO GEORGE calls on community to help fight vandalism

The alarming increase in incidents of vandalism of GO GEORGE infrastructure and buses has reached a point where service delivery is constantly hampered by a shortage of buses or compromised shelter at bus stops.

“Vandalism of GO GEORGE infrastructure 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 and associated amenities,” said James Robb, 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.”

Annoyed Georgians have started coming on board to help stop damage to shelters intended for the convenience of passengers.

Most at risk are bus shelters, buses (seats inside the bus as well as damage to windows due to stone-throwing that put the lives of passengers and drivers at risk), and public infrastructure at the bus stops such as refuse bins and toilets intended for the convenience of passengers. Graffiti, littering and theft of infrastructure such as tactile pavers, bus stop poles and shelter elements are a daily reality. Of 80 incidents of bus stoning recorded since 2019, 40 have taken place in 2021.

Astronomic replacement cost

The repair of damaged bus windows has cost the George Public Transport Network (GIPTN) an estimated R965 000 in 2021 alone. Damaged and torn vinyl stickers containing service information are currently being replaced on 40 bus shelters – only about one-third of damaged shelters – at a cost of about R3 000 per shelter.

The cost of replacing infrastructure and branding damaged by vandals is astronomic. 

Robb says they are now appealing to the community to assist by promoting ownership and responsibility towards bus facilities in their area. “We need the help of the public, community influencers as well as religious and business organisations to make culprits understand the consequences of their behaviour and to put a stop to senseless destruction of buses and facilities.”

High school rap competition

Expanding the bus service’s anti-vandalism campaign, a rap competition for high school learners was launched, with nine local schools having signed on to run the first round internally, entering three finalists whose anti-vandalism rap songs then stand a chance to win them some exciting prizes. The competition will culminate in June, national Youth Month, and the winning songs will become part of the anti-vandalism campaign.

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 at 0800 044 044. Anyone wanting more information or who would like to become involved in some way can also leave a message at the Call Centre or send an email to info@gogeorge.org.za.

CAPTION: This bus was stoned while driving through a residential area. A windscreen on the large buses costs R9 367 to replace, and a side window varies between R12 000 and R15 0000.


GO GEORGE doen ‘n beroep op gemeenskap om vandalisme te help beveg

Die kommerwekkende toename in voorvalle van vandalisme van GO GEORGE-infrastruktuur en -busse het ‘n punt bereik waar dienslewering voortdurend belemmer word deur ‘n tekort aan busse of gebrekkige skuiling by bushaltes.

“Vandalisme van GO GEORGE-infrastruktuur is ‘n ernstige bron van kommer aangesien dit die gehalte van die dienservaring van ons passasiers beïnvloed en afbreuk doen aan ons missie om ‘n waardige en veilige openbare vervoerdiens en gepaardgaande geriewe te lewer,” sê James Robb, GO GEORGE-bestuurder. “‘n Beskadigde bus word uit diens onttrek vir herstelwerk, wat druk op die bestaande busvloot plaas. Vertraging in die koördinering van ‘n vervangingsbus kan lei tot ‘n rimpeleffek waar die diens vir die hele dag laat kan loop.”

Die meeste skade vind plaas by busskuilings, aan busse (sitplekke in die bus sowel as skade aan vensters as gevolg van klipgooiery wat die lewens van passasiers en bestuurders in gevaar stel), en openbare infrastruktuur by die bushaltes soos vullisdromme en toilette wat bedoel is vir die gerief van passasiers. Graffiti, rommelstrooiing en diefstal van infrastruktuur soos geriffelde plaveisel, bushaltepale en skuilingelemente is ‘n daaglikse werklikheid. Van die 80 voorvalle van klipgooiery na busse wat sedert 2019 aangeteken is, het 40 in 2021 plaasgevind.

Astronomiese vervangingskoste

Die herstel van beskadigde busruite het die George Geïntegreeerde Openbare Vervoernetwerk in 2021 alleen R965 000 gekos. Beskadigde en geskeurde vinielplakkers wat diensinligting bevat, word tans vervang op 40 busskuilings – slegs sowat ‘n derde van beskadigde skuilings – teen ‘n koste van sowat R3 000 per skuiling.

Die koste van die vervanging van infrastruktuur en handelsmerkmateriaal wat deur vandale beskadig is, is astronomies. 

Robb sê hulle doen nou ‘n beroep op die gemeenskap om te help deur eienaarskap en verantwoordelikheid teenoor busfasiliteite in hul gebied te bevorder. “Ons het die hulp van die publiek, gemeenskapsbeïnvloeders sowel as godsdienstige en sake-organisasies nodig om skuldiges die gevolge van hul gedrag te laat verstaan en om ‘n einde te maak aan sinnelose vernietiging van busse en fasiliteite.”

Rap-kompetisie vir hoërskole

Ter uitbreiding van die busdiens se anti-vandalismeveldtog is ‘n rap-kompetisie vir hoërskoolleerders van stapel gestuur, met nege plaaslike skole wat ingeskakel het om die eerste ronde intern te behartig en drie finaliste in te skryf wie se anti-vandalisme rap-liedjies dan ‘n kans staan om vir hulle ‘n paar opwindende pryse te wen. Die kompetisie sal oploop na ‘n hoogtepunt in Junie, nasionale Jeugmaand, en die wenliedjies sal deel word van die anti-vandalismeveldtog.

GO GEORGE doen ‘n beroep op die publiek om vandalisme te ontmoedig en te help stop, en om enige vandalistiese aksies aan te meld deur die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 te skakel. Enigiemand wat meer inligting wil hê of op een of ander manier betrokke wil raak, kan ook ‘n boodskap by die inbelsentrum agterlaat of ‘n e-pos aan info@gogeorge.org.za stuur.

BYSKRIFTE:

Klipgooi:
Hierdie bus is gestenig terwyl hy deur ‘n woongebied gery het. ‘n Windskerm op die groot busse kos R9 367 om te vervang, en ‘n syvenster wissel tussen R12 000 en R15 000.

Skuilings, panele en graffiti:
Ontevrede George-inwoners begin aan boord kom om skade aan skuilings wat vir die gerief van passasiers bedoel is, te help stopsit.

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