Ministers Consider Legal Action Against Bus Owner and Driver
Twenty three (23) people died and ten (10) others are in a critical condition after the bus, which was on route to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape, crashed through a steel barrier and rolled down the steep embankment between the two double-lane highways on the Hex River Pass from Touws River.
The MECs are furious after it came to light that the bus was suspended from transporting passengers and should not have been on the road. The bus was allegedly carrying thirteen (13) more passengers than legally allowed for and survivors claim that the bus driver was asleep at the time of the accident.
eNatis records have confirmed that the same bus was previously suspended for being unroadworthy and that it was given a notice to discontinue transporting passengers until it has gone for a roadworthy test. It did not comply with this instruction and should not have been on the road transporting passengers. Furthermore, National Department of Transport and the Eastern Cape Operating License Board have confirmed that the bus did not have an operating license.
The same bus has also been suspended on three occasions in less than eighteen (18) months.
The mere fact that the bus owner allowed the bus to transport passengers while knowing well that it was suspended and further overloaded shows his utter contempt for the laws of the road. Bus operators like Mr. Nomana belong in jail. He has no regard whatsoever for the safety and lives of passengers and other road users says Minister Carlisle.
We will meet with the MEC of Transport and Safety in the Eastern Cape Gloria Barry in the next few weeks to establish a joint initiative to tackle unlicensed and unroadworthy buses and taxis that transport passengers between the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
Minister Max highlighted that while enforcement authorities were conducting strict and regular bus inspections on the N1 and N2 as part of the province-wide Safely Home campaign it is clear that some operators are using alternative routes to enter the provinces in order to by-pass the inspections.
Those who have something to hide will always try to slip in through a back door - this is true for all criminals and offenders. The teams from both ministries will devise a strategy to ensure that that backdoor is shut for good. No bus should be allowed to escape our scrutiny, says Max.
Joint Statement by:
Minister of Transport and Public Works
Adv. Lennit Max
Minister of Community Safety
Media Liaison Officer
Ministry of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 8954
Cell: 083 641 9691
Media Liaison Officer
Ministry of Community Safety
Cell: 082 780 0242