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Holidays go on where buses don't

By unknown | Jul 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alfred Moselakgomo

Pupils in some areas of Mpumalanga will today be forced to continue their school holidays unless they are provided with transport.

Pupils in Belfast, Wonderfontein, Hendrina, Ermelo, Komati and Pullens Hope have not been going to school since Monday because of a lack of transport.

This comes after the provincial Education Department decided to cancel buses within a 24km radius of Middelburg.

Sakkie Mey, the owner of Hlakanang Transport, said they were only made aware of the decision two days before the new school term started.

"It is unacceptable that pupils living as far as 24km from school now have to find other means of transport," said Mey.

Pupils from Belfast and surrounding areas were left stranded in the cold when their buses did not show up.

Bus companies say they do not want to risk transporting the pupils until they are sure their contracts with the department will be renewed.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga has denounced what it calls the "unnecessary uncertainty" created for pupils and bus companies by the department.

"It is time the department get its house in order as far as school transport is concerned," said DA spokesman Anthony Benadie.

He said, following the recent public servants' strike, pupils could not afford to lose any more time because the provincial authorities were not competent enough to provide them with school transport.

By the time of going to press last night, Hlahla Ngwenya, spokesman for the Mpumalanga education department, had failed to return calls requesting official comment.


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