Forgotten promises

Millions of commuters might be excused for feeling used as pawns in the never-ending drama over the nonpayment of annual subsidies by the the Department of Transport to members of the SA Bus Operators Association.

Millions of commuters might be excused for feeling used as pawns in the never-ending drama over the nonpayment of annual subsidies by the the Department of Transport to members of the SA Bus Operators Association.

Threats by bus operators to suspend services to millions have become a common occurrence about this time of the year.

Year-end is the time when the department disburses subsidies amounting to hundreds of millions of rands to association members to sustain the strategic service.

But the department has hardly ever been on time with the payments, prompting the association to warn - with monotonous regularity - of "disastrous consequences for the country and the economy".

Why the transport authorities seemingly treat a strategic permanent component of their budget so nonchalantly boggles the mind.

Time and again the government promises to clean up its image of being slow with dispensing payments to service providers - to no avail.

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