Roadlink passengers’ payout delay

2010-09-07 00:00

A SCOTTSVILLE senior citizen is struggling to get compensation from the controversial SA Roadlink bus company after her luggage was burnt to ashes when the coach she was travelling in caught fire on March 22.

Yvonne Terris (91) was travelling to Johannesburg when the Roadlink bus had a tyre burst on the N3 between Pietermaritzburg and Mooi River.

Terris said there was a big bang and the driver pulled off the road.

“After he and two crew members helped us disembark, we saw smoke billowing from the left rear wheel, which was later engulfed in flames. The crew prevented us from getting anywhere near the bus, which was up in flames in no time.

“We stood there traumatised, watching our luggage reduced to ashes,” said Terris.

She said she believes they were lucky they were not going downhill, or things could have been worse.

A substitute bus was called and the passengers continued with their trip after a couple of hours’ delay.

In Johannesburg Terris said she was given a formon which to list the items she lost in the fire and was told the bus company would contact her.

“Since then the company has not contacted me. I phoned them several times and at one stage I was told the legal department has decided to compensate all paying passengers with R1 000 each. I’m still waiting,” she said.

Another passenger, Dumisani Shange, said he has not heard from Roadlink since the day of the incident. “They said they’d contact me, but that never happened.”

For more than a week Roadlink ignored questions about the matter. Roadlink CEO Allen Reddy could not be reached yesterday. A Johannesburg senior manager, Elize Stevens, referred The Witness to a Pietermaritzburg branch manager, Denzel Naicker, who is her junior.

Naicker said the bus driver’s first instinct was to evacuate his passengers from the bus and when he went for the fire extinguisher the fire was already out of control,

“Our legal department and senior management have decided to compensate the passengers with R1 000 each and this is being processed.”

He could not say when the passengers will get their promised compensation.

 

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