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ETHEKWINI bus commuters might begin the year without a bus service again.
This follows a court ruling declaring the awarding in July of the contract to the new bus company, Transnat Africa, illegal.
About six bus companies had initially taken the municipality, provincial department of transport and Transnat Africa to court, challenging the awarding of the contract to Richards Bay-based company Transnat Africa.
These companies complained that there was no tender process involved in the awarding of the contract to Transnat Africa.
The ruling by the Pietermaritzburg high court on Friday, that the awarding of the contract was illegal and had not gone through proper channels, could mean more transport woes for Durban commuters.
Transport MEC Willies Mchunu said they were going to appeal against the ruling to ensure that commuters are not affected.
"Had I known the decision was being made on Friday I would have instructed our legal team to appeal the matter straight away," he said.
Should the appeal by the department fail it could mean that bus commuters will be without a bus service for several months in the new year.
Transnat Africa was awarded a contract to run the city's outer city operation in July.
This after the downfall of BEE Company Remant Alton, which had been running the bus service since 2003.
Transnat Africa was given the interim contract to operate the buses until the end of Remant Alton's contract ended in September next year.
Transnat Africa could not be reached for comment yesterday.