‘Learner transport still challenge’

Posted in Latest News

Lentswe, Tigane - Recently, there was a complaint from community members from Tigane who were accompanied by their kids of Phakela Combined School.

This was after the learners struggled with transport to the school between Tigane and Coligny. They then blocked the road to get attention.

Temporary transport was later organised for them, but the good news from the department of Community Safety and Transport Management is that they are pleased with progress registered in dealing with learner transport challenges. The department has followed the court order of December 2019, that annulled the previous agreement, giving month to month contracts to operators. 

According to the departmental spokesperson Alpheus Koonyaditse, the court also ordered that there should be re-advertisement of the tender before the end of April 2020 with winning bidders announced within six months thereafter. 

“Regrettably some operators took letters offering them these month to month contracts to transport learners and did not sign them nor had they transported learners as was expected. The department has noticed that some despite not having signed nor accepted the contracts, are continuing to operate.

“Some who have accepted are not servicing the routes as expected indicating lack of resources. The department is urging all these operators to engage the officials as matter of urgency,” Koonyaditse said.

MEC Sello Lehari had been leading departmental efforts to ensure all operators owed by the department are paid. He said there are few remaining challenges as most schools are now serviced.

“Out of 197 operators that were offered, only 129 accepted month to month contracts and are operating in 340 schools,” MEC Lehari said. 

In Bojanala 29 operators are servicing 64 schools and in Dr Kenneth Kaunda 79 schools are serviced by 32 operators. 

The highest number of schools serviced is in Ngaka Modiri Molema in which 122 schools are serviced by 29 operators. Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati has 75 schools serviced by 39 operators. 

The department will this coming week be engaging the sister department of Education to assess the situation to address this matter and put it to finality.