Wheeler dealers

The mess surrounding the collapse of Durban's municipal bus services will only get worse as the vultures gather to pick at the carcass.

The mess surrounding the collapse of Durban's municipal bus services will only get worse as the vultures gather to pick at the carcass.

Thousands of commuters and pupils have been left stranded, but service delivery counts for little in this tale of tax-funded crony capitalism.

eThekwini municipality sold its bus operation a few years back to Remant Alton for R70million.

The owners' main qualifications to run a bus service was that they were linked to ANC politicians.

Labour groups opposed to the privatisation of municipal services set about a campaign of wildcat strikes, intimidation, violence and murder.

After five years of disastrous mismanagement and appalling service, the city bought back the operation for R450million of taxpayers' money and Remant Alton made a profit of R335million for its incompetence.

Then it won the contract to run the city's buses and the strikes and violence continued unabated.

Despite a never-ending flow of tax-funded subsidies Remant still failed to transport the city's commuters, and eThekwini eventually yanked its contract last week.

Will the politicians who dispense public funds ever learn that our taxes are supposed to pay for public services and not the enrichment of their fatcat cronies.

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