Minister to Approach National Prosecuting Authority Over SA Roadlink | Western Cape Government


Minister to Approach National Prosecuting Authority Over SA Roadlink

28 April 2010
The Western Cape Minister of Transport Robin Carlisle and his provincial counterpart, MEC for Community Safety Adv. Lennit Max will this week approach the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute SA Roadlink for contravening the National Road Traffic Act.

In terms of the National Road Traffic Act it is the duty of the operator to implement reasonable measures to ensure that their drivers do not commit any road traffic offence. The Ministers believe that the incident involving a SA Roadlink bus on Tuesday, 07 April 2010 is one of a series of failures by the company which constitute an offence.

"Should the National Prosecuting Authority proceed against SA Roadlink and they are found guilty, we will ask the relevant operating licensing authority to cancel all of SA Roadlink's operating licenses in terms of the National Land Transport Act," says Carlisle.

In a joint letter to SA Roadlink, the MECs are also requiring the bus company to provide a detailed explanation of its past conduct and the measures it has in place to ensure road safety. (The letter is available upon request).

On Tuesday 27 April 2010 Provincial Traffic officials stopped a SA Roadlink bus which exceeded its weight limit by approximately 700kg. A traffic officer instructed the driver to reduce the load within legal limits and the driver initially complied by offloading 10 passengers thereby reducing its gross weight to within legal limits. What transpired thereafter is a blatant disregard for the law. The driver, when out of the sight of traffic officials, re-loaded the 10 passengers causing the vehicle to once again exceed the permissible weight.

The driver is, through his conduct, guilty of disobeying a lawful instruction of a traffic officer - thereby committing an offence. Accordingly, criminal charges have been laid against the driver in question and the Ministers will engage the National Prosecuting Authority to take this matter to finality.

"While the proposed action may be effective in dealing with SA Roadlink in this particular instance, what has become apparent is that there are limited legal mechanisms to bring errant operators to book. We have instructed our legal team to look at legislative solutions to address that gap. Enough is enough," says Carlisle.

Minister Max says traffic law enforcement officials will continue to act against bus drivers found guilty of violating road safety.

"Our first priority is to ensure the safety of the public and, judging by past events, this does not seem to be a priority for Roadlink. We have therefore intensified our focus on Roadlink buses on our roads. The lives of innocent people are at stake and I will come down hard on any individual and/or company putting profit before safety." says Max.

Media Enquiries: 

Solly Malatsi
Media Liaison Officer
Ministry of Transport and Public Works
Western Cape Provincial Government
Cell: 083 641 9691
Tel: 021 483 8954

Jo Lennox
Ministry of Community Safety
Western Cape Provincial Government
Cell: 082 780 0242