Ricochet News

Eastern Cape Government and scholar transport operators map way forward

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - JUNE 20, 2017
Eastern Cape Government and scholar transport operators map way forward

Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, together with the Eastern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana, on Tuesday morning met with representatives of Scholar Transport Operators in the province to pave way forward on scholar transport issues.

According to the Provincial Government Spokesperson, Sonwabo Mananga, the meeting was a follow up to a dispute resolution meeting held between the provincial government and scholar transport operators in the Eastern Cape on Monday the 22nd of May 2017.

“Earlier, Scholar Transport Operators had downed tools siting among others, the issue of a lack of a standardised date of monthly payments to operators by the Department of Transport as well as the demand of an increase in the fee rate per kilometre paid to operators by government as their main grievances,” said Mananga.

He added that it was also in the interest of safeguarding critical access to quality education by the hundreds of thousands of learners, who are dependent on the scholar transport system, which is funded by government, to get to the classroom.

Premier Masualle committed to a speedy resolution of the matters of dispute so as to avoid as far as possible disruptions to teaching and learning in the province as a result of the Scholar Transport Operators’ strike.

Delegates at the meeting resolved that:

  1. Government has granted a 6% increase to Scholar Transport Operators linked to the CPIX effective from 1 July 2017.
  2. Premier Masualle called for strengthened participation of the taxi industry in resolving matters that involve them as well as make input on scholar transport operations.
  3. MEC Tikana assured the meeting that officials in the Department of Transport effectively deal with all individual cases raised within 30 days.

Premier Masualle has welcomed the spirit of cooperation by participants in the meeting and looks forward to a professionalised and efficient Scholar Transport System in the province as a key pillar in tackling and eradicating the legacy of an underperforming education system in the province.