Two Roadlink buses impounded, drivers fined

2010-04-22 00:00

KZN Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) impounded yet another two SA Roadlink buses at Mkondeni on Tuesday afternoon.

The drivers appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

RTI spokesperson Collin Govender said one of the coaches was travelling from Durban to Johannesburg and the other from the Western Cape to KZN.

Govender said the bus travelling to Johannesburg has a permit to carry tourists only, while the driver of the bus from the Western Cape has no route permit.

“Section 50 of the National Land Transport Act No. 5 of 2009 stipulates that no one can operate a vehicle or transport passengers without the necessary documents such as the licence or permit issued for that particular vehicle or particular purpose,” said Govender.

“One of the drivers was driving a tour coach, meaning that he should be ferrying tourists only.

“It would seem that the bus company just gives any bus to the drivers without checking permits.”

The Witness has learnt that the drivers were kept in custody before they appeared in court yesterday, and fined.

A court official, who asked not to be named, said they were each fined far in excess of R1 000.

“We are not allowed to speak to the media, but I can tell you that the fine is far more than that given the fact that there has been many cases against the bus company,” said the official.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu recently said that no SA RoadLink buses will enter KZN without being subjected to an inspection for roadworthiness.

He added that its buses will not be allowed to leave the depots in Durban without a pre-trip inspection by experienced public transport enforcement unit officers.

Roadlink spokesperson Lumka Oliphant confirmed that two of the carrier’s coaches were impounded.

She said one of the drivers mistakenly took a wrong permit.

“The other bus was a tour coach, which was used to pick up passengers because our technicians refused to allow the scheduled coach to leave the depot due to some detected defects.

“We must note that a tour coach has a permit to move around anywhere in the country and this one was used as a back-up to make sure that our passengers were moved timeously. Our legal team is studying the basis of the fine,” said Oliphant.

She said their legal team has sent Mchunu a letter to protest against his utterances about the measures being taken against Roadlink.

Transport spokesperson Bhekisisa Mncube confirmed receipt of the letter.

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