Joint Statement by Ministers Robin Carlisle and Adv. Lennit Max on Province-Wide Bus Blitz Operation | Western Cape Government


Joint Statement by Ministers Robin Carlisle and Adv. Lennit Max on Province-Wide Bus Blitz Operation

11 August 2009
The Ministers of Transport and Community Safety Robin Carlisle and Adv. Lennit Max have released the results of the province-wide bus blitz operation with a particular focus on the Beaufort West border. The high contravention rate during the blitz has pressed the Ministers to introduce permanent random 24 hour mini-blitzes and - possibly -higher fines for offenders.

The bus blitz was the first project of the provincial government's Safely Home campaign. For two weeks, 24 hours a day all buses and minibus taxis entering or leaving the Western Cape were subject to:

  • A thorough on the spot roadworthiness test
  • Verification of operating licenses and the driver's public driving license
  • Driver schedule and alertness.

21% of the buses and 47% of all mini bus taxis failed some aspect of the inspection at Beaufort West out of a total of a 123 buses and 173 minibus taxis stopped during the period.

This comes against the backdrop of the province-wide operation in which a total of 548 and 2091 buses and minibus taxis were stopped for inspection. The results of the overall operation show that:

  • 192 buses and 1 459 minibus taxis were charged for possession of incorrect documents including expired drivers' public driving licenses and operating licenses that did not give them permission to travel on the route
  • 54 buses and 429 minibus taxis were charged for being road unworthy
  • 118 summons valued at R70 700 were issued to buses while 1 287 summons worth more than R900 000 were issued to minibus taxis
  • One SA Roadlink bus was impounded and 7 other buses were suspended for possessing incorrect operating licenses.

The two Ministers are troubled by the results of the two week operation.

"Road safety is non-negotiable. We want to send a strong message to all road users that if you dare put the lives of other road users at risk you will feel the unforgiving wrath of the law in no uncertain terms. In terms of the decisive actions already taken, it is clear that I am not simply making empty promises. Through this joint effort we will clamp down on all road users thinking that they can outsmart the law." said Minister Adv. Max.

"The statistics show that an unacceptably high number of public transport vehicles checked are either not roadworthy or contravene the conditions of their operating licenses. Some operators are also hell-bent on avoiding detection rather than exploring means of complying with norms and standards." said Minister Carlisle.

The Ministers agree that stricter sanctions need to be brought to bear on non-compliant operators. Accordingly, Minister Carlisle will, at the next Transport MINMEC, submit a proposal to introduce mandatory minimum driving times and breaks for long distance buses and minibus taxis. He will also write to the Department of Justice formally requesting the committee that sets traffic fines raise impoundment fees and other traffic fines to impose maximum financial penalties for offending operators.

The Ministers have resolved to maintain the pressure and scrutiny on long distance buses and minibus taxis by implementing random 24 hour mini-blitzes as a permanent measure. All results of these mini-blitzes will be made public.

Media Enquiries: 

Solly Malatsi
Media Liaison Officer for Minister Carlisle
Cell: 083 641 9691

Julian Jansen
Media Liaison Officer to Minister Adv. Max
Cell: 082 726 9334