Inefficiently utilised bus subsidies granted directly to Gauteng by the National Department of Transport (NDOT) have started to have a detrimental effect on bus operating companies – and ultimately bus commuters in the province.
The situation, created by the Department’s system of using short-term funding, for monthly contracts and annual contracts, has made long-term planning by bus operators virtually impossible.
For years the DA has emphasised the point that has now created a huge problem for many of the 80 000 commuters who use buses every day.
Companies like PUTCO have been incurring losses and rising operating costs have now simply made operations on many routes unsustainable.
The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRT)or even the municipalities should administer the subsidy grant , which, as international best practice has indicated , is a better targeted and much more efficient way of applying the subsidy.
PUTCO will be followed by other operators who cannot continue to operate at a loss.
NDOT and GDRT must now pay attention to representations by bus operators before a total breakdown of bus services occurs.
At a recent meeting of the Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport, bus operators, including PUTCO, voiced their frustration about the subsidy system and called on MEC Ismail Vadi, to add his voice to the reasonable suggestions from these important players in the transport industry.
Gauteng is the first province to feel the backlash from an outdated and bureaucratic system and should be at the forefront of suggesting solutions to NDOT Minister Dipuo Peters.
While Minister Peters spends all her time and energy attempting to force e-tolls on residents of Gauteng, pressing public transport issues fall through the cracks to the detriment of the province’s residents.
Justus de Goede MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transport
060 558 8305