Govt gets tough on public transport

2011-08-31 13:08

Johannesburg - All buses and minibus taxis on South Africa's road will be stopped and checked with immediate effect, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Wednesday.

"At least 76 people have been killed in this month [August] in eight separate crashes involving public transport vehicles in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Mpumalanga, Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape," he said.

"This is out of hand."

In the past week, 32 people, 15 of them children, were killed in three bus crashes.

Eleven were killed in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday night, when their bus overturned near Aberdeen on the R61 towards Beaufort West.

Another five people were killed in Gauteng when their bus overturned near the Murrayhill toll plaza, north of Pretoria, on Tuesday afternoon.

In Knysna last Wednesday, 15 children and their driver were killed when their bus rolled into a river.

National enforcement plan

"We have instructed law enforcement agencies to stop and check every public transport vehicle, including buses, taxis and scholar transport vehicles, across the country with immediate effect."

This was part of a new national enforcement plan.

"We cannot have public transport operators who are only interested in making a quick buck, no matter what."

He commended the SA National Taxi Council for its Operation Hlokomela, through which the industry was monitoring drivers and operators to ensure they adhered to road rules. Ndebele called on the bus industry to do the same.

"Basic minimum quality standards must be in place to transport passengers in a safe, efficient and reliable manner."

According to the department's research, between January 2007 and June 2009, 689 people were killed in 415 bus accidents.

Major contributory factors included unroadworthy vehicles, speeding, driver fatigue, lack of concentration and driving under the influence of alcohol.

  • Hectic - 2011-08-31 13:14

    Don't make me laugh - the queue will be from here to Johannesburg to check every bus and taxi, and how long will it take for them to do exactly as they please when the check is over. This should have been taken into hand years ago - too late she cried!

      O-Kay - 2011-08-31 14:06

      They will be checked, bribes will be accepted and where any action is taken it won't be followed up on. Good idea, no hope of following through or enforcing it!!!

      John - 2011-08-31 14:14


      Al Online - 2011-09-01 12:09

      Dude, when government does nothing, you complain..when they do something, you complain...better late than never I say..

  • Made_In_SA - 2011-08-31 13:17

    yeah right.... this I have to see... the only reason they get stopped now days is help keep the cop's wallets full.. Oh wait half the cops own taxis too.. Hmmm..

      Made_In_SA - 2011-08-31 13:19

      In fact if I recall correct even old Sbu owns a few taxis here in natal..

      Enquizo - 2011-08-31 15:31

      Self employment

      p123 - 2011-09-09 13:05

      As usual they won't touch the Taxis, what a joke!!!! Here in Durban the Taxis do what the hell they like all day every day, Metro Police will just drive past!!!

  • Together - 2011-08-31 13:17

    It's a start, I guess - all will depend on whether every official involved in this decision is immune to bribes, else it will be a bit pointless. PS. this is why we whinge about bribery and corruption - at the end of the line it always ends in someone losing their lives or livliehoods.

      jobho - 2011-08-31 13:31

      This is sort of a knee jerk reaction. He had to say it just to sound educated. Is there a plan in place to do it? they say things they don't understand. As for bribery, one once said these days we no-longer have police road blocks but mobile tollgates

  • Bankai - 2011-08-31 13:19

    hectic dont be a hectic Imbecile if you have nothing to say shut up lad

      BokBru - 2011-08-31 13:51

      Sorry Bankai but this time I must agree with Hectic. See my comments below. Even if you don't like what I say you have to agree there is some truth in what I say. - 2011-08-31 14:18

      hectic is right - but the queue gets shorter as the wallets (or the cops) get fatter

  • Matt :-) - 2011-08-31 13:20

    Check more taxis, get more bribes, nothing will change. This is all the cops are good for

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-08-31 13:20

    Thank you for waking up - now haul the non roadworthy ones off the road and make sure they can never be driven again.

      Kiepies - 2011-08-31 13:39

      Burn it down to the ground or chop it up on the spot and thus set an example.....

  • lovecbt77 - 2011-08-31 13:22

    love to see this happen, as i am sure many of you have almost been taken out by them. They should tax the taxis, can you imagine how much revenue could come from that.

  • allows - 2011-08-31 13:23

    And next month all taxi and bus drivers will go on strike because they are being harassed by the cops...... - 2011-08-31 14:19

      and the cops will go on a slow-go because no supplement to the salary.

  • sipholess - 2011-08-31 13:23

    "Out of hand" ?.........It's been out of hand for 17 years, you parasitic clown.

  • ihatum - 2011-08-31 13:30

    "This is out of hand." - and this is the motivation for the checking?, shouldn't this be an everyday thing?. Are you going to pay the traffic cops extra for the "extra work" they will be doing?. Don't insult the public intelligence, this should be happening regardless of the number of incidents happening on the road.

  • Bloodbane_3 - 2011-08-31 13:30

    too little too late, only thing that can save people now is getting all taxi's off the roads and enforcing roadworthy checks on buss's

  • onetickie - 2011-08-31 13:31

    We've heard it all before. Like all the rules of the road that are on paper but NEVER policed (except for white residential areas). I'm guessing that more than half the vehicles on SA roads are unlicenced, un-roadworthy and without licensed drivers!

  • Horza - 2011-08-31 13:31

    The taxi associations stop taxis willy nilly just to see if the taxi operates in its right "district". These stops/checks could also weed out obviously unroadworthy vehicles.

  • jc-audio - 2011-08-31 13:32

    RIP for all the kids and people killed, but haha, please..... Do they actually think they gonna stop them, its all talk, no action, police are way to scared to do it

  • derekneilmaclachlan - 2011-08-31 13:36

    The taxi industry is a law unto its self. They pressure the government whenever anything doesn't go their way. Look at the toll roads in JHB!!!! They are exempt, we are not. Anyway roadblocks wont do anything except delay everybody. Taxi's are meant to be roadworthied every year, but there is so much bribary and corruption I would love to know just how many of them are actually roadworthy. Anyway I hope the honest cops manage to impound just a few.

  • Strudle - 2011-08-31 13:45

    One should only commend the taxi bosses when a noticeable improvement in the behaviour of the drivers on our roads -particularly with taxi drivers. I certainly haven't seen any improvement demonstrated by this despicable lot! How I sympathise with their passengers!

  • Wouter Louw - 2011-08-31 13:47

    "... He commended the SA National Taxi Council for its Operation Hlokomela, through which the industry was monitoring drivers and operators to ensure they adhered to road rules ... " uuu I'm sorry to say but it seems as if I am in the dark regarding most (new?) road rules!

  • Brian Smith - 2011-08-31 13:48

    Now I wonder who owned them, who was driving them, who road worthyed them and who gave the permits? Any guesses? Stop them and the corrupt cops will make a fortune out of the bribes!!

  • BokBru - 2011-08-31 13:49

    HAHA!!! Government is scared of the taxi industry and their mafia bosses. It is never going to happen. Police is scared of taxi's and never stop then where I live. The ministers comments are a joke.

  • kenneth.roselt - 2011-08-31 13:53

    taxi association watching their drivers obey the rules of the road - which set of rules would that be, as i see them daily driving in the yellow lanes / against on coming traffic / going through red robots, in fact name the rule, they break it.

      drystone - 2011-08-31 19:53

      kenneth, I agree wholeheatedly with you. If a taxi driver is responsible, he will make sure that his taxi is roadworthy. They should be tested every year, by legitimate, independant centres. No matter what the problem on the taxi is, the driver should be held responsible, eg unroadworthy vehicle, reckless driving, overloading, or any transgressions, etc. The fact is that all public transport drivers should be tested yearly. But then we have to remember that even the cops transgress the rules of the road. I've seen many a cop driving with his cellphone held to his ear, and driving through red traffic lights. So where do we stand? As one comment said, the cops are afraid of the taxis. Maybe not afraid of them, but looking after their pockets.

      p123 - 2011-09-09 13:07


  • Ryan - 2011-08-31 13:53

    Operation Hlokomela hould not be commended cause its clearly not working. Most taxis go through red robots and drive down the yellow line or drive down the on coming turning lane to get ahead. What a Joke this operation is

  • biskit - 2011-08-31 13:54

    Give that taxi driver a bells

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-08-31 14:05

      cos his hooter doesn't work...

  • nicci.eaglestone - 2011-08-31 14:09

    And what about teaching them ALL obey the rules of the road etc.. that will also go a very long way to stopping all these very unnecessary accidents and deaths... The taxi/bus owners and cops don't care about the vehicles or passengers they just care that their pockets of full of cash and if some people die along the way.. oh well, there's always tomorrow and more passengers... how sad!! We need to get rid of the "unraodworthy" cops as well, who either turn a blind eye or accept the bribes.

  • parkavenue - 2011-08-31 14:10

    Hollow friggen words again. In the 10 minutes in takes me to travel to work and back every day I see no less than 20 traffic violations.Red robots are ignored and taxis just stop in the middle of the road for passengers to alight.It would be interesting to know the stats i.t.o taxi fatalities over the last decade.The powers that be might be "shocked"

  • Kevin - 2011-08-31 14:15

    Sorry folks, his comments are as meaningless as any other minister's: checking the buses and taxis will not stop the accidents - only permanently suspending the licences of the DRIVERS of these deathtraps will be the solution to the problem, but even then, they will still carry on regardless

  • dustin wetdewich - 2011-08-31 14:16

    no point in checking if the bus is working, have to teach the drivers to drive first?? Basic rules of the road aren't being followed with disastrous effects...

  • levit8 - 2011-08-31 14:16

    What a novel idea ... traffic and road authorities doing something that contributes to road safety. I bet this will have a big impact, especially in KZN, because the officers won't be hiding behind bushes with their camera's merrily snapping away at offenders, raising funds for their annual Xmas party. Of course most of the road-unworthy taxi's and busses wouldn't be caught by this method of fund raising, because they're too slow to get above the speed limit.

  • vanommen.jan - 2011-08-31 14:20

    Good! But stick to it!

  • changeisGood - 2011-08-31 16:51

    Minister, Please can you ask your people to start with Taxis in Kempoton Park and Tembisa in the east Rand, those hoologans think they can break the law and get away with it, all the associations in that area are run by Mafias they are all feared because of their Mafia behaviour. Ekurhuleni Metro Police are also famous for taking bribes, Please help deal with this situation! I so wish someone for once can take responsibility and act on this, just for once. send your ondercover police to see for yourself the lawlessness in that area.

  • George - 2011-08-31 19:25

    Does anybody know which bus company the bus was that fell over in easterncape.?

  • Chris - 2011-09-01 09:13

    if a vehicle is used for public transport then that vehicle needs to have a roadworthy test done every year when the license is renewed.

  • T5 - 2011-09-01 11:41

    Stopping and checking them isn't going to do much (besides taking one or two of them off the road), it's the way they drive that causes the accidents.

  • Al Online - 2011-09-01 12:12

    Guys, the negativity is astounding. When Government does not act, we all complain and now when they do act, we about standing behind them for a change? Yes, it is not perfect, but hell, they have to start somewhere. Give them a little credit...better late than never..

  • Maryna Homann - 2011-09-01 12:45

    We had a massive traffic jam due to ALL the taxis being checked this morning in Boksburg! Inconvenient, but necessary.

  • BigAl - 2011-09-14 08:31

    he-he-he the police officers are rubbing their hand ITS BRIBE MONEY TIME thank you Sibusiso Ndebele from all the corrupt police. You can check all you like, BUT that will not stop the suicide driving-the letting off of passengers at stop streets and robots-blocking roads and generally doing what these gods (taxi drivers) think they have the right to do.

  • LaVie - 2011-09-15 08:05

    Perhaps they should not waste their time on the transport only. They must repair the roads which cause so much damage to cars and ultimately lead to more accidents than unroadworthy vehicles.

  • fed up tax p - 2011-09-23 12:17

    a wake up call a little too late. I guess these "operators" learnt from politicians that crime does indeed pay in this country and following their lead... I am sure there is an easier solution than stopping every bus for every offical who lacks proper training, and a couldnt-care-less attitude and quick to accept a bribe, we are just wasting more of the tax payers money. Yawn.

  • M Koch - 2011-09-23 15:04

    The taxis should be stopped and checked. They should be stopped and arrested if caught breaking the law. How many taxis do you see driving like the simian f()cks they are and not being stopped by JMPD? JMPD should ACT when these airheads swerve into lanes, drive on the wrong side of the road, overload, drive on the shoulder and cut in front of everyone.

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