by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 04 April 2019
An education crisis is unfolding in the Kakamas area, as unpaid bus drivers have halted learner transport services to scholars who are dependent on state funded transport to get to school.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is calling on the MEC of Education, Martha Bartlett to urgently see to it that the bus are urgently paid for services rendered.
Close to 2 200 children in and around the Kakamas area, ranging from grade 1 to matric, who rely on approximately 40 school busses to transport them to school, are affected by the strike that commenced at the start of this week.
These same pupils, including a number of matriculants, already missed close to four weeks of schooling in the first term due to a similar scenario.
Upon the start of the first term, these bus drivers were only paid for the month of January. They were informed that the department’s budget had run dry. In effect, the bus drivers have rendered services for February and March, with no payment from the department. They can, however, no longer afford to continue providing transport services, as their businesses are suffering.
Clearly it is becoming a trend for the Education department to not pay service providers who are contracted to transport learners. Furthermore, there has been no change in the tariff structure for the past five years, despite these drivers having been promised an increase by the failing ANC government. This is unfair, as the same ANC government is the cause of the rising petrol costs that have a direct impact on the bus drivers.
It is clear that the failing ANC government does not see the need for our youth to be educated, nor for businesses to be paid their worth.
We cannot tolerate the uncaring stance of the ANC government, that itself has created a situation whereby schooling is interrupted and people’s jobs are placed on the line.
Only a DA-led government will commit to ensuring that our children do not have to miss school because of transport issues and that local service providers receive payment within 30 days, so that their businesses do not collapse.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
079 226 0991