Affordable buses to be manufactured in KZN

2009-03-06 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL bus operators have entered into a business venture that will empower emerging operators and ensure the sustainability of the business.

The KZN Provincial Bus Council (Kwanabuco), entered into a joint business venture with India-based truck manufacturing company Ashok Leyland to manufacture affordable buses in KZN.

At a launch of the joint venture Kwanabuco chairman Alfred Zondi unveiled the first 65-seater bus manufactured through the venture. Kwanabuco technical adviser George Mahlalela said beneficiaries in the project are bus and taxi operators upgrading to buses.

“We approached Ashok Leyland regarding the supply of economical and mechanically affordable buses,” he said.

“The bus was assembled in SA from parts imported from India and has been approved by the SABS,” said Mahlalela. He said it has been designed for SA conditions.

The launch marked the first phase of the project where Kwanabuco members have applied for finance and the buses will be ordered and assembled in SA.

In the future, based on the sustainability and growth of the project, Kwanabuco and Leyland hope to build a manufacturing plant in the province. A site for the plant has been identified in Masons Mill near Pietermaritzburg and operators have formed co-operatives that will own shares in the business.

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