city buses back SOON
TOMORROW is D-Day for a final decision on whether Durban's beleaguered bus service will start running again this week.
MEC for transport, community, safety and liaison Bheki Cele yesterday promised to sort out "recruitment and other operational issues" to ensure that the bus service gets back on the road soon.
Cele, who was accompanied by eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba, was speaking at a media briefing in Durban.
"We expect to announce the decision to resume operations on tomorrow once issues of recruitment and other operational issues have been addressed."
He said the provincial government had made a commitment to commence with bus operations when schools reopened on Monday.
"But unfortunately this had not happened owing to "court processes and labour issues".
Cele said the provincial cabinet's task team, consisting of himself, MEC for finance Ina Cronjé, MEC for economic development Mike Mabuyakhulu and MEC for education Senzo Mchunu, had been working around the clock in an effort to get the transport service running again after the closure of Remant Alton on June 29.
"The inconvenience faced and unnecessary suffering of commuters during this period is sincerely regretted," Cele said.
Transnat, the new bus company that took over from embattled BEE company Remant Alton, was supposed to start operating on Monday. It could not do so because of a court challenge against its appointment.
Bus operators applied for an interim interdict against the eThekwini municipality and KwaZulu-Natal transport department to prevent the transfer of the Remant Alton contract to Transnat.
The operators were not happy with the way the contract had been awarded.
The matter was adjourned by the Pietermaritzburg high court to October 26.