Team to watch over KZN pupil transport

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Copy of nm dam disaster 1 (41874393) THE MERCURY Rescue workers search a sludge dam on Elsmore Farm, between Greytown and Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal, after a bakkie plunged into it. Five children were killed. Picture: Shan Pillay

Durban - A team has been formed to enforce policy on transporting school pupils in KwaZulu-Natal after five children were killed in a crash this week, officials said on Thursday.

The team of senior officials was announced on Thursday at the children's memorial service in Mooi River.

“This team will be jointly led by the head of department for education Nkosinathi Sishi and transport head Sbu Gumbi,” the two departments said in a statement.

A bakkie carrying schoolchildren crashed into a dam in the Midlands on Monday morning, killing five children. Police and rescue personnel rescued 25 other children.

The driver of the bakkie has been arrested.

Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni and transport MEC Willies Mchunu said a policy was in place against pupils being ferried in improper vehicles.

“What we are doing now is to escalate the implementation of the policy and to address weaknesses in its implementation,” they said in speeches prepared for delivery at the memorial service.

The policy was developed in 2013 after the province experienced a spate of fatal accidents involving pupils.

The newly established team would look at all the weaknesses in the policy and ensure proper monitoring on the ground.

“This team will, among other things, investigate measures to fast-track the implementation of the provincial policy on learner transport for public schools.”

Sapa



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