SA ROADLINK buses are not allowed to enter KwaZulu-Natal before being inspected.

SA ROADLINK buses are not allowed to enter KwaZulu-Natal before being inspected.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, Willies Mchunu announced that "no SA RoadLink bus will enter the province of KwaZulu- Natal without being subjected to roadworthy inspection".

Mchunu said SA Roadlink buses would not be allowed to leave the depots in and around Durban without a pre-trip inspection by experienced public transport enforcement unit officers.

"As government we are duty-bound by virtue of our legislative mandate to ensure the safety of our citizens in the province by providing a public transport system that is safe, affordable, efficient, regulated and effective," Mchunu said.

He said SA Roadlink drivers would be checked for driver fitness and for alcohol.

"An interprovincial and coordinated law enforcement strategy to deal with SA RoadLink is being developed by the province and Road Traffic Management Corporation."

Mchunu said his department would also engage with the Department of Trade and Industry with a view to investigating SA Roadlink for any manufacturing defects through the South African National Standards Authority. In December 2008, 11 people died after an SA Roadlink bus hit a truck it was trying to overtake on the southbound side of the N2 highway near Hibberdene. The bus was travelling from the southern Cape to Durban via the Eastern Cape (Kokstad).

More recently a SA Roadlink bus caught fire on the N3 Freeway in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The bus was carrying 68 passengers and two crew members,

When contacted late yesterday, SA Roadlink spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said they were not aware of the MEC's announcements and could not comment.