Every SA Roadlink bus on Western Cape roads will be stopped and its operating licence, vehicle registration and roadworthy documents inspected.
Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle. (Image: Western Cape Government)
Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle announced on Wednesday that all buses owned by the embattled long-distance operator will be subject to rigorous scrutiny.
Carlisle said he had adopted a tough stance against SA Roadlink in the wake of allegations that it operated on fraudulent roadworthy documents. He said this was in support of his Gauteng counterpart, MEC Ismail Vadi.
"MEC Vadi has laid charges against SA Roadlink after it was discovered that a senior SA Roadlink employee had resigned in disgust after only three days, having discovered a scheme to produce fraudulent roadworthy documents. The employee is alleged to have obtained sufficient evidence to prove the existence of the scheme - before walking out," Carlisle said.
"I, together with community safety MEC Dan Plato, have decided that, in support of our colleague from Gauteng, and with immediate effect and until further notice, every SA Roadlink bus in the province will be stopped on sight and pulled over for a detailed inspection," Carlisle said.
"I have been accused of targeting SA Roadlink before. What this shows is that I did not target them enough."
Plato said: "We are putting the safety of passengers first. We simply cannot risk having unroadworthy buses travelling long distances on our roads ."
Vadi's spokesman, Octavia Mamabolo, confirmed that the department laid charges on Friday.
"The department has laid charges against SA Roadlink because of what we believe are fraudulent documents in their possession," Mamabolo said.
But Nolin Padayachee, spokesman for SA Roadlink, said it was not aware of any charges.
"This is the first time we hear Vadi has laid criminal charges,'' Padayachee said.History of accidents
Long-distance bus operator SA Roadlink has been dogged by controversy over passenger safety since inception.
Its buses are often pulled off the road and impounded for being unroadworthy.
Five people died when one of its buses overturned on the N1 to Bloemfontein last month.
Its licence was suspended in KwaZulu-Natal after the death of 11 passengers in 2008.
Seven people died in a bus crash on the N1 between Beaufort West and Cape Town in 2009.
But SA Roadlink spokesman Nolin Padayachee said accidents involving the company were often magnified.
"For the eight or nine years we have been in existence, we had only four or five fatal accidents."
Source: The Times
via I-Net Bridge