Tansnat’s chief operations officer, Vickesh Maharaj, said there was a settlement agreement between the municipality and the bus operator that dictated the processes that should be followed. DOCTOR NGCOBO African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Bus company Tansnat has denied claims that it owes eThekwini municipality more than R425 million, claiming it is actually the council that owes it money.

In an email to The Mercury, Tansnat’s chief operations officer, Vickesh Maharaj, said there was a settlement agreement between the municipality and the bus operator that dictated the processes that should be followed.

“We do not agree with the amount outstanding and that the amount is uncollectable. The situation is that the city owes Tansnat,” said Maharaj.

He was responding to a report brought to the city’s executive committee last week which claimed that the bus operator owed the city R425317194. The report also stated that the debt was “uncollectable”.

The report further stated that Tansnat held the biggest debt owing the city.

“The charges include depot lease charges, optima ticket rolls charges, security charges, repairs and maintenance charges and insurance charges,” the report read.

It also revealed that there was a court order preventing the municipality from deducting what was owed from the subsidy Tansnat received.

Maharaj said there was an intervention team and an adjudication process in terms of the settlement agreement that became effective in January 2016.

He said the intervention dealt with normal business operations on a day-to-day-basis, where business payments were approved by the city and Tansnat.

“We cannot comment on details of the overcharges by the city and recoveries from the city. These are issues that are being adjudicated on.”

Maharaj explained that the adjudication process dealt with issues that could not be resolved in the intervention process, and the disputes were referred to the adjudication process.

According to Tansnat, the adjudication hearing commenced in May 2019 and had been adjourned to November 8, 2019.

It is then expected that the adjudicator would make a finding after the hearing.

The Mercury reported last week that opposition parties deemed the approval of the 8.85% fare increase as “the first failure of the new leadership” in the city, considering the claim that Tansnat owed the city millions.

Responding to the recent fare increase, Maharaj said it was a contract condition that fares should be increased each year.

The Mercury