Taxi operators escort learner transport back to Ermelo

KINROSS – Parents of eMdibini learners have raised dissatisfaction with the learner transport last week.

They alleged that the buses were always overloaded and some needed maintenance.

Several meetings were held and Friday, 11 August parents met with the school educators and the owner of the buses that transport learners from Kinross to school to find a solution to the problem.

During the meeting, it was agreed that Mr Fanyana Sibanyoni, owner of the buses, will add another bus to prevent overloading.

He was also requested to make sure the buses are serviced.

After the meeting, parents stayed behind and decided that the Department of Education should provide them with other buses and they further mentioned they were afraid to say it in front of Mr Sibanyoni because they are afraid of him.

This morning parents went to the school where they met with Mr Sibanyoni and the educators.

Some parents who wanted to remain anonymous, said they did not inform Mr Sibanyoni that they do not want his buses anymore.

The Department of Education’s representative, Mr Lushaba, was also at the school when the buses arrived.

Brigadier Cele, Secunda Cluster Station Commander, said parents are not honest because some sided with Mr Sibanyoni, while others wanted new buses.

He urged parents to be honest and have one voice if they want to solve the problem.

Today at about 12pm, four buses arrived from Ermelo which were deployed by the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport.

After school, the learners got into their new buses and after they left the school gate, taxi operators requested the parents and learners to use their previous buses.

The four buses were escorted in a convoy of taxis and cars back to Ermelo.

Mr Sibanyoni confirmed that they escorted the buses to Ermelo and they will make sure they do not operate in their area.

He further mentioned that as local taxi operators, they are not going to allow Habana, buses from Ermelo, to operate in their area.

He said the buses belong to Habana, but they are branded Mpumalanga learner transport.

Mr Sibanyoni added that for the past two years he was paid money for two buses instead of four, but he made sacrifices because he cared for the learners.

“I have been trying to engage them so they can add more in order for me to add another bus, but they did not make any effort to meet me.

“Now all of a sudden they bring four buses which belong to an Indian from another area to come and operate in our area.,” said Mr Sibanyoni who also responded to the parents fearing him.

He added that he was shocked as to what kind of government take jobs away from the people instead of creating them.

His response was that when Vukanini Taxi Association gives their children school uniform, they are not afraid of him, but when they have to engage him regarding transport they bring excuses of fear.

More information will follow when we get comments from the Department of Basic Education, Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport, parents and the Department of Safety, Security and Liaison.


eMdibini Combined School received four buses to transport learners from nearby farms and Kinross.

Posted by Echo/Ridge Times Newspapers on Monday, 14 August 2017

Levhuwani Matumba

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