Parents with children who use private transportation to school are expected to provide a full month’s advance payment, despite schools only reopening mid-month in January.
Drivers in Kwazulu-Natal said they require the full amount so that they are able to pay the taxi association the admin fee, as per agreement.
“We ask parents to pay the full amount so that we can be able to pay the admin fee to the taxi association for using their routes to transport learners. So far, each driver pays R6000 once off for the whole year. This fee includes getting stickers for our vehicles that indicate that we are transporting school kids,”said Bheka Buthelezi.
A KwaZulu Natal parent, Nonhlanhla Magasela, said it is not fair for them to pay the full amount for their children to be transported for only two weeks.
“My son will be using public transport to school until the end of the month because I won't be able to pay the full amount that is required by the drivers. I feel like the drivers are not fair to us as parents because now we have so many expenses, we have to buy uniforms, pay school fees, but lunch and pay the full amount for scholar transport, it’s too much,” said Magasela.
Scholar transport drivers in the Western Cape said some parents, especially those with children in high-school, allow that their children stay at home at the end of the school term prior to the date of school closure. A driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, said after the end of year exams in December, the children just stayed home and therefore, parents argued that they would not pay the full amount.
“The client has an obligation to pay in full for this month as all the previous months that had school holidays in it,” the Western Cape driver said.
Meanwhile, other parents have no problems with the new scholar transport payment agreement. To mitigate any hefty January scholar transport fees, the parents made arrangements to pay the full amount in December. Therefore, they won’t have to pay for January fees.
“I am not worried about transportation money because our agreement with the driver is that we pay a full amount in December even though the schools close early, so that we won’t have to pay a cent for January, and I'm happy with that,” said Sinothando Dlamini.