Yesterday afternoon, Putco bus company distributed letters to commuters informing them that routes from Mamelodi to Pretoria’s CBD as well as southern, northern and eastern suburbs would be suspended as of 1 April.
Bus services in Kathorus (Ekurhuleni) and Meyerton (Midvaal) will also be affected.
Click here to view the letter.
Putco has been receiving government subsidies for decades to provide affordable transport to the people of Gauteng along predetermined routes.
Over the years, government’s subsidies did not keep pace with operating costs and route expansions, nor did they provide Putco with contractual security by only renewing contracts for one year in certain instances – or on a month-to-month basis in others.
The upshot of this was that Putco undercapitalised in new vehicles, with a detrimental effect on commuter and road safety.
The fact is that government slowly caused Putco’s demise, and will be forced to face the wrath of thousands of angry commuters less than 20 days from now.
MEC Vadi’s proposal to use municipal services as a stop-gap measure may provide short-term relief, but the poor state of repair of those vehicles will only escalate commuters’ dissatisfaction.
While it remains critical that commuters are not left stranded, MEC Vadi and minister Peters need to meet with Putco, discuss routes and costs associated with their operation, and hammer out new contractual agreements and their subsidies in as short a time as possible.
Gauteng’s economy cannot afford to lose thousands of man hours every day due to poor government planning.
Dr Neil Campbell MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
082 387 2540