W Cape MEC warns bus company
Cape Town - Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle has warned SA Roadlink that threats of legal action will not deter him from "rigorous inspection" of all public transport vehicles in the province.
"Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me make it clear that we will check each and every SA Roadlink bus entering and leaving the province," Carlisle said in a statement on Thursday.
SA Roadlink said on Wednesday that it was seeking legal advice as it believed Carlisle was victimising the company by ordering that all of its buses be inspected.
"We don’t want to get into a legal war. We respect Mr Carlisle as an MEC. We want him to respect us as a company," SA Roadlink fleet manager Piet Cronje told the Cape Times newspaper.
"We are extremely concerned at the lack of inspection of other companies. It would be interesting to review reports by the MEC’s department on the testing of other companies, both local and intercity," Cronje said.
However, Carlisle said the press release was disingenuous, bizarre and completely ignored SA Roadlink's history of crashes and traffic and driver offences around the country.
"Whilst all buses are subject to scrutiny, SA Roadlink will continue to be a key focus of law enforcement attention until such time as they stop sending unsafe and unlicensed buses into our province."
Carlisle said that during his watch as MEC, SA Roadlink had been the most problematic of national bus operators by far.
"The only fatal accident involved a Roadlink bus. We have had to arrest and remove a very drunk driver from a Roadlink bus. We have pulled more unsafe and unlicensed Roadlink buses off the road than for all the other national bus operators together.
"Roadlink are the architect of their own misfortunes.
"If they get their safety act together, their buses will be able to spend more time on the road and less in the pound."
The company's assertion that it was being victimised by the Western Cape department of transport and public works smacked of hypocrisy as the real victims were SA Roadlink passengers and other road users, Carlisle said.