Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The long wait for the resumption of the bus service in Durban is over.

The bus service in the city will resume today, while services outside the city, including major townships, will resume on Sunday, the eThekwini municipality said yesterday.

Remant Alton and the eThekwini municipality reached an agreement after marathon talks late into Sunday night , according to eThekwini municipal manager Derrick Naidoo.

Naidoo told Sowetan yesterday that an investigation into Remant Alton's accounts showed that the company was "solvent".

Naidoo said the parties agreed that the bus company would fix and maintain the buses at its workshop while buses owned by the municipality would be handled by the council.

"Remant Alton would be responsible for repairing and maintaining the buses and put them on the roads.

"We expect that about 300 buses would be ready by Sunday to transport commuters, while the rest of the buses are being maintained and fixed," he said.

The bus service was suspended by the city a week ago after the company said it could not continue the operation with only 160 buses out of the initial fleet of 500.

Thousands of commuters were left stranded and taxis and trains were filled to capacity as passengers jostled for a ride .

Naidoo said the decision to reinstate the bus service was taken after concluding a detailed audit report.

The report has been handed to the KwaZulu-Natal auditor-general Herman van Zyl and is expected to be presented to the council's executive committee on Thursday.

There were allegations that the company was insolvent.

But the company's operations manager Paul Rush last week said they had decided to shut down operations because they could not provide a bus service with only a fleet of 150 buses, while the rest were parked at the depot with mechanical problems.

Yesterday, Remant Alton spokesperson Jabulani Mngadi said: "The city service will resume today, while the rest of the operations will resume on Sunday."