Death bus company loses licence to operate in KZN
The KwaZulu-Natal department of transport has withdrawn the operating licence for national luxury bus company SA Roadlink after declaring its buses "slaughter machines on wheels".
The drastic action comes after 11 people died and 18 others were injured in the latest crash this week involving one of the company's buses and a car. A family of six, who were in the car, were wiped out in the crash. Two brothers who were in the bus also perished.
Provincial MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Bheki Cele announced that all SA Roadlink buses would not be allowed to operate on the province's roads.
Addressing the media in Durban yesterday, Cele said that from tomorrow at midnight, "no SA Roadlink bus would be allowed to operate within the province".
"I will not sit and fold my arms when SA Roadlink is now a moving slaughtering machine on provincial roads. This applies to all public transport, including taxis," Cele warned.
"We withdraw all permits granted to SA Roadlink to operate in this province pending finalisation of the investigation," he said.
In the past two years the luxury bus company has been linked to a spate of accidents, resulting in the bus company being suspended by the KwaZulu-Natal government.
The accidents were allegedly attributed to unroadworthy buses.
In the latest incident, the bus collided head-on with a Toyota Camry on the N2 freeway near Hibberdene on the South Coast.
It is alleged the bus driver had lost control after a tyre burst. The bus was headed for Durban, from Port Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, Sapa reports that SA Roadlink risk manager Herman Steyn said yesterday that the first that the company had heard of its licence being suspended was through the media.
"Our legal team is trying to make contact with the MEC's office on this issue," said Steyn.
He said the company had appointed an independent forensics team to investigate the accident.
"We regret the losses, and we're doing everything possible to assist the families of the deceased. We have appointed external forensic experts to investigate the cause the accident," said Steyn.
KwaZulu-Natal transport spokesman Nonkululeko Mbatha confirmed that the bus company had received a letter of suspension from them.