Bus companies to vacate holding area at Umhlanga

2015-02-03 00:00

BUS companies providing public transport in Durban have ended a long-standing dispute with eThekwini Municipality by agreeing to stop parking buses in a holding area at Umhlanga Ridge from February 28.

Six public transport companies said to operate a daily fleet of around 175 buses in and out of Durban — KZT Country Cruiser, Metro Bus Services, Combined Transport Services, KZT Bus Services, Ngotshana Bus Services and Musijabule Transport — went to court in 2010.

They wanted an interdict stopping eThekwini from depriving them of access to the bus holding area at Umhlanga Ridge, and for the municipality to make available bus holding facilities in Durban’s CBD and Pinetown, as well as Umhlanga Ridge.

It was alleged on behalf of the companies that eThekwini’s decision to close the bus holding area at Umhlanga would cost operators in the region of R500 000 per annum. This was because the buses would have to return to their depot at Phoenix during “down times” incurring fuel costs.

The municipality however said it wasn’t obliged to provide bus holding areas in terms of its contracts with the bus companies. Erik Moller, deputy head of public transport for eThekwini, said in an affidavit that a clause in the contracts stipulated the companies had to make their own arrangements for depots, servicing, maintenance and parking for their buses.

Following talks between legal teams for the parties at court yesterday, Acting Judge Kobus Booyens was told that the companies and eThekwini had resolved the matter, with the bus companies agreeing to vacate the holding area at Umhlanga Ridge from February 28.

Costs of the application were reserved.

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