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At least 203 of 485 buses in the Gauteng scholar transport programme are unroadworthy, provincial education MEC Barbara Creecy said on Thursday.
Speaking at the Randburg testing station in Joburg, she said there were 700 buses for the subsidised scholar transport programme. A total of 485 had been tested so far.
Most of the buses found to be unroadworthy had defective brakes, faulty steering mechanisms, and loose wires and bolts. The bus operators would be given two weeks for repairs and be allowed to undergo another test.
“When you take into account that we are transporting 50 000 learners in a day with 700 buses... we think our relatively safe records are because of this process,” Creecy said.
“It helps us to identify where the wear and tear is on these vehicles.”
She said there had not been any accidents involving the buses since the beginning of the year.
Creecy accompanied inspectors as buses were being tested at the station. She said the faulty buses were unacceptable as they were placing children's lives at risk.
When told about the defects of one of the buses she said the condition of the vehicle was unacceptable.
“Obviously from the side of the department, we are not getting any value for money... this is taxpayers' money that the service providers are getting.” – Sapa