'probe remant alton'

THE union representing eThekwini City bus drivers wants a probe into Remant Alton.

THE union representing eThekwini City bus drivers wants a probe into Remant Alton.

The black economic empowerment company closed shop a week ago after declaring it was not in a position to continue operating the city's buses because of lack of funds.

Remant Alton was awarded a contract to run the city's buses in 2003, but complaints of poor service by commuters soon followed - a few years into its contract which was to run until next year.

The union is now calling for KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize to establish a commission to probe what happened to the subsidies the company received from the departments of education and transport, and from the municipality.

The Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA yesterday said Remant Alton should be investigated. Shortly after the company closed down, Mkhize appointed a task team consisting of four MECs to look at ways of restoring the province's transport system.

Tawusa general secretary, Zack Mankge, said he would be meeting with the eThekwini task team today to discuss the appointment of a new service provider.

"Transport problems should be avoided at all costs as they have a serious impact in the run-up to 2010," he said.

Meanwhile, Cope has accused the city of protecting the bus company.

The party's provincial spokesperson, Siyanda Mhlongo, accused the municipality of protecting Remant Alton bosses as "the company continued to run the service even after there was proof that the company was failing to run the municipal service".

"The entire process has been dogged by controversy, and the woes of the bus company are well documented.

"However, all requests to investigate Remant Alton has fallen on deaf ears," said Mhlongo.

He said when buses came to a halt before elections, the ANC moved in quickly to bail out Remnant Alton because this would have embarrassed the ANC during the elections.