Transport Month has seen the Portfolio Committee enhancing its oversight activities by paying visit to projects, transport facilities, and even schools across the province from eThekwini, Muziwabantu to Mnambithi Municipalities. PPRASA offices in Durban, Mdlangathi, Nkanyezi KaManchi and Colenso Combined Primary schools in Harding and Ladysmith respectively were part of the schools covered by the oversight visits, particularly to inspect learner transport.
The Committee expressed disappointment at the condition of buses used by learners to attend schools. Broken windows, defects in wipers, brake lights, were just a few of many faults found in the buses. However the buses at Colenso Primary schools seemed to be in better conditions compared to buses inspected in Harding. In both schools the Committee instructed the Road Transport Inspectorate to inspect the buses and provide a report as a matter of urgency, and these reports would be shared with the Department of Transport for speedy
A visit to a newly constructed permits center for taxi owners in Ladysmith has been welcome by all for the impact it has on the industry. “If you have forgotten any documents, you are able to go back home and come back immediately to finalise your application for a permit, and get back to business”, unlike when it was centralised in Durban, said the Chairperson of the Taxi Industry in Uthukela.
Delivering the opening remarks in Ladysmith where all stakeholders in the transport sector were present, Hon Kaunda said, “no solutions can be found through the barrel of the gun, why fight over taxi routes, this land cannot be stretched to accommodate more routes so why can’t we accept that”. This is a black run business that we can be proud of, however, this cannot be a lucrative business if we fight over routes”.
There are other business ventures that we can explore, workshops for taxis, you can go out and seek funding for such ventures. Let’s stop violence, and focussing on growing the business. He added that business owners must negotiate with commuters when they are to increase taxi fares so that communities feel part of the industry. “We would like to see that, dialogue takes place and ensure that there is good working relations between yourselves and your clients”, Kaunda concluded.