Gauteng commuters at risk of being left stranded

The DA calls on Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi to engage with Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and ensure that Gauteng commuters will not be left stranded from 1 April.Campbell-Dr-Neil1

Yesterday afternoon, Putco bus company distributed letters to commuters informing them that routes from Mamelodi to Pretoria’s CBD as well as southern, northern and eastern suburbs would be suspended as of 1 April.

Bus services in Kathorus (Ekurhuleni) and Meyerton (Midvaal) will also be affected.

Click here to view the letter.

Putco has been receiving government subsidies for decades to provide affordable transport to the people of Gauteng along predetermined routes.

Over the years, government’s subsidies did not keep pace with operating costs and route expansions, nor did they provide Putco with contractual security by only renewing contracts for one year in certain instances – or on a month-to-month basis in others.

The upshot of this was that Putco undercapitalised in new vehicles, with a detrimental effect on commuter and road safety.

The fact is that government slowly caused Putco’s demise, and will be forced to face the wrath of thousands of angry commuters less than 20 days from now.

MEC Vadi’s proposal to use municipal services as a stop-gap measure may provide short-term relief, but the poor state of repair of those vehicles will only escalate commuters’ dissatisfaction.

While it remains critical that commuters are not left stranded, MEC Vadi and minister Peters need to meet with Putco, discuss routes and costs associated with their operation, and hammer out new contractual agreements and their subsidies in as short a time as possible.

Gauteng’s economy cannot afford to lose thousands of man hours every day due to poor government planning.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540


Gauteng Transport Department Powerless Against Corrupt Officials

The CEO for the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRAT), Mr Roland Swartz, has admitted to the Gauteng Legislature’s committee of inquiry in to taxi licensing that the department has had no capability to investigate or prosecute corrupt officials.

Swartz stated to me that his department had been unable to prosecute or convict any official in the Department’s Transport Operating License Administration Bodies (TOLABs) – the organ for controlling taxi routes and operating licenses – despite acknowledging that the TOLABs are rife with fraud and corruption.

He stated that recently a fraud and corruption unit had been established, but that it had yet to secure any convictions.

The department has relied purely on whistle-blowers to identify corrupt officials, but when individuals did report instances of corruption – at much risk to themselves, reported cases had not resulted in any prosecutions.

Swartz admitted that the systems his department has to rely on, which are run by the National Department of Transport, are woefully slow, inadequate and unable to effectively deal with the flow of applications in Gauteng.

The Auditor-General has often commented on the inadequacy of these systems.

Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi must engage with National Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, to ensure that the systems are fully operational and responsive.

If left unchecked, corruption in this department will continue unabated.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

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Expired driving permits highlight law enforcement failure







Reports by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) indicating that 366 761 heavy duty and public transport operators are on Gauteng’s roads with expired professional driving permits is an indictment on law enforcement in the province.

Drivers of heavy duty and public transport vehicles require these permits to prove their ability to operate these vehicles.

Gauteng is second only to KwaZulu-Natal when it comes to road fatalities and experiences an ever increasing number of road violations.

Despite laws being in place, it is clear that current law enforcement structures are failing.

As a result, and what is clear from the startling number of expired professional driving permits, is that compliance and regard for the law is at an all-time low.

The Gauteng Provincial Government needs to take decisive action.

What it must do is move the Gauteng Traffic Police force from the Department of Community Safety, and place it back under control of the Department of Roads and Transport.

The DA has for a long time raised this issue with Roads and Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi, and Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.

We will continue to pressurise the MEC, as well as Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, to heed our calls in ensuring not only compliance – but also effective road law enforcement which ensures the safety of all road users.

Media enquiries:
Dr Neil Campbell MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
082 387 2540