Travellers dropped at bus stops

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Thousands of commuters found out yesterday that from February 4 they will have no transport to and from work.

Atteridgeville Bus Services (ABS) renders services under contract to the Gauteng department of transport .

The contract was entered into in 1996 and additional buses and trips were introduced, but in November last year the department stopped all payments to ABS.

ABS is now owed in excess of R25 million and the company has instituted an urgent high court application to recover the funds .

Commuters and drivers yesterday said the looming withdrawal of ABS services was news to them.

Getrude Hlanza, a domestic worker in Veerde Park, said: "How could they keep this from us. February 4 is around the corner and this is going to have a serious impact on our daily transportation to work. Please tell me it is just a rumour."

A driver said: "This means we are going to lose our jobs."

ABS chief executive Pule Pule said worker representatives and shop stewards were notified about the withdrawal of services and then commuters would be notified.

Pule said staff would have to be laid off if the department does not pay the funds by next Wednesday , the day ABS and the department go to court.

"It is a very unfortunate situation but there is nothing we can do. We have tried our best to recover the money but all has been in vain. We will talk to employers of our commuters to explain our situation and the decision," he said.

The department was not available for comment.