Roadlink’s bad tyres bring them under fire

2009-05-10 00:00

National bus company SA Roadlink, is under fire again after a six-hour trip from Pietermaritzburg to Bloemfontein was almost doubled as a result of an unroadworthy vehicle.

A fed-up passenger called The Witness from Bloemfontein on Friday shortly after arrival there at 10 am — five hours late because of trouble with the coach’s tyres.

Pietermaritzburg resident Dintle Mamonyane said the bus left the city around 10.30 pm on Thursday. While on their way to Ladysmith, a passenger complained about a burning smell. This was reported to the driver who was dismissive. He had to be forced to stop and investigate. Two tyres were found to have burst.

“There was nothing left of the tyre,” said Mamonyane.

She said it took two hours for technicians to fix the problem. They found that all the tyres were faulty.

Thinking that was the end of the problem, the passengers were loaded back in to continue the journey, but the bus stopped once again in Ladysmith and the tyres were pumped up. But then their journey resumed, with the driver trying to make up for lost time.

She claims what shocked her most was when they arrived in Winburg in the Free State, they were loaded into a 22-seater taxi, while the passengers from the taxi were loaded into the bus with faulty tyres, to be ferried back to Durban.

Mamonyane who was on her way to a relative’s funeral said, “it was a terrible experience, especially as I was travelling with a two-year-old child.”

While SA Roadlink spokesman Herman Steyn confirmed that the coach experienced problems, he said he was surprised that someone would complain that they were not kept informed.

“The bus left Pietermaritzburg late as a result of a former incident. So time was already a factor. But I find it strange that someone could say they were never informed, when they were informed throughout the journey. It is a luxury bus, maybe they fell asleep,” said Steyn.

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