Issued by Harold Mgluwa, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Provincial Chairperson
Cell: 082 440 1779
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will submit parliamentary questions seeking clarity on whether there had been any disruptions in the learner transport services, if so, just exactly how many learners in the province had been affected by the disruptions, since the service was transferred to the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison.
This is in light of reports of it having taken months before the Department met with the service providers of learner transport in the province, who had indicated they had grievances which needed urgent attention.
The DA is concerned at allegations that some service providers had been requested to continue rendering learner transport services by the MEC Patrick Mabilo, even though no contracts and permits had been issued by the Department. Such action would be a clear violation of the Public Finance Management Act, and the lack of governance and controls in such a dubious arrangement, effectively placed the lives of learners transported on these busses in danger, not to mention also likely placed the smaller business operators under immense financial strain.
Though we note the Department’s response that it is only a small number of operators who have not been paid due to non-compliance, it still does not address the allegations that there are alleged incidents of the illegal transport of learners.
The DA believes the Department must act to ensure that it follows legislation aimed at ensuring good governance. More importantly MEC Mabilo’s Department must, in the interest of the rights and safety of learners across the province, address the issues of the school bus operators.