Roadlink slams Mchunu over ban

SA Roadlink has hit back at the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport for what it termed the "one-sided" treatment of the bus company.

Last week MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu said no SA Roadlink bus would be allowed into KwaZulu-Natal without being inspected.

Mchunu called a press conference at which he listed incidents involving SA Roadlink buses since 2006 when the passenger carrier hit the headlines.

These included a December 2008 incident in which 11 people died after a 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 Kokstad in Eastern Cape.

He also highlighted the incident in which a Roadlink bus overturned on the N3 southbound near Paradise Valley and 43 people were injured.

But SA Roadlink spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said:" We dispute the statistics provided and we believe they are not providing a picture of the industry.

"The information given is one-sided and we believe the MEC's office has failed to look at the bus industry as a whole so that his department can make an informed decision."

She said Roadlink "was responsible for less than one percent of the accidents in the country".

Oliphant said this was highlighted by Ranthoko Rakgoale, CEO of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, when he made a presentation to the portfolio committee on transport in August last year.

In his report Rakgoale said Roadlink buses were involved in five crashes for the 30 months up to August last year.

His report came after a Roadlink bus crash in Beaufort West killing seven people and left 50 injured in July last year.