Ricochet News

GO George driver wins yet again

Nov 7, 2016
GO George driver wins yet again

For GO GEORGE driver Gerrit Saayman (44), driving a bus is second nature, and apparently, coming out tops in competitions, too.

This friendly, soft-spoken bus driver has won the bus driver’s category of the Southern Cape Driver of the Year (DOTY) competition held in Mossel Bay last month, and walked away with the identical prize at the George DOTY competition that was held at Eden Meander on Saturday.

Saayman, who has been a bus driver for the past 18 years, has previously come first, second and third in the national DOTY competition, and says these competitions have taken him all over the country to beautiful places he would never have seen otherwise.

“But although it feels good to win and make my employers and my wife and three children proud, this is not what my work is about. At the end of the day, I want to be known as a friendly, responsible driver who safely transports my passengers to their destination on time.”

Saayman says his shift starts with a thorough inspection of his bus.

“I would never go on the road with a vehicle that is not in perfect condition. This is also part of the routine here at GO GEORGE. And when I leave these gates at the bus depot, that bus becomes my bus. I take care of it as if it is my own. The passengers become my passengers, and their safety and convenience become my personal responsibility. I look and think on behalf of all other road users, because it’s no use pointing to another driver after an accident, if you were not alert and thinking ahead yourself.”

This is the kind of attitude that lets Saayman walk away with the cup repeatedly. Drivers are also judged according to their executing of tricky manoeuvres on a test track, pre-inspection of their vehicles and a K53 road test.

George Link, the vehicle operating company supplying the bus service to GO GEORGE, also runs bimonthly internal competitions, testing the bus drivers’ skills on the road, their appearance, keeping to the GO GEORGE code of conduct, traffic rules and passenger safety.

This serves to strengthen the drivers’ internal motivation, and to reward those that deliver outstanding service. The plan is to expand this competition, and to eventually appoint an annual winner.

Caption: If you get on a GO GEORGE bus with this man behind the wheel, give him a pat on the back and take your seat with peace of heart. Gerrit Saayman has won yet another drivers’ competition, this time, the Southern Cape Driver of the Year competition in Mossel Bay.