Durban - The cities Durban Transport bus service has approximately 100 buses, that are not in service, at the Ntuzuma bus depot due to mechanical problems.
During a recent oversight inspection at the depot, the Democratic Alliance found over 100 buses that have not been in operation for over a month now.
Martin Meyer, DA whip on human settlements and infrastructure, said a meeting with the depot operations manager, Caleb Gcaba, revealed that the upkeep and maintenance of the buses was a competence of the Durban City Fleet.
The party had since written to the head of city fleet, Ben Ngwenya and City Treasurer Krish Kumar to seek clarity on the state on the city’s fleet.
The Daily News has seen the letter.
“The current shortage of buses has a negative impact on commuters that travel to KwaMashu, Umhlanga, La Lucia, and Newlands East.
"A recent conversation with a resident of Newlands East revealed that a woman found herself stranded when a18:00 bus from West Mead did not arrive at the set time with no prior notice to commuters.
"The bus situation is going from bad to worse with the city not providing clarity on when this will be remedied,” Meyer said on Tuesday.
He said the situation not only has an impact on the productivity of the city’s economy but with school holidays about to come to an end, it may be to the detriment of scholars who travel far to attend schools, since it is a more convenient and cheaper means of transportation.
Ethekwini gave contradicting responses to the issue. Spokesperson Mandla Nsele told the Daily News that the city was prioritising the maintenance of Durban Transport buses.
“The delays were related to Supply Chain Management compliance issues which have since been resolved. The Municipality is confident that the delays will result in minimum inconvenience to commuters. The Ntuzuma Bus Depot is the only depot affected,” Nsele said.
He said contractors were back on site conducting maintenance work on the buses, and that the backlog is expected to be cleared before schools re-open, and services will be back to normal.
“The city has a spare bus fleet of about 10 % as a contingency to buffer service delivery. The maintenance of city fleet buses is budgeted for in the city fleet operational budget.”