School transport 'turf war' slammed

2011-08-30 13:18
Cape Town - MPs have demanded that two government departments resolve a "turf war" over who is responsible for taking children to school.

"What is being talked about is a turf war between the department of transport and the department of basic education, where the two are in a tug of war trying to keep this function," Democratic Alliance MP Manuel de Freitas said during a meeting of Parliament's transport committee on Tuesday.

"This is of grave concern, because as our children are getting to and back from schools, in many cases in absolutely dangerous conditions as was demonstrated last week near Knysna... we have officials trying to protect turfs."

He was referring to the 14 children and their driver killed when their bus plunged off a low bridge into the swollen Kassat se Drift River near Knysna last Wednesday.

"This is an unacceptable situation," De Freitas said.

"The department of basic education is looking after our children from an education perspective. The transport department should ensure they are transported there safely and effectively. It is untenable. It has to be resolved very soon."

The committee's acting chair Mduduzi Manana said they wanted the two departments to resolve the matter "as soon as possible".
Read more on:    transport

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