NW Scholar Transport tender must be investigated

Issued by Freddy Sonakile – DA Spokesperson on Community Safety and Transport Management in the North West Provincial Legislature
07 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Broadcasters: Please find attached soundbites in English and Sesotho by Freddy Sonakile

The DA reiterates its call for a North West Scholar Transport tender audit.  Since the reopening of schools in January this year, we have been inundated with complaints from parents, teachers, and learners about the poor state of some scholar transport vehicles.

Yesterday’s accident involving scholar transport vehicles for learners at JM Lekgetho Secondary and Gaetsho Secondary School is another sad reminder of the poor state of some of these vehicles. According to reports an accident occurred after the steering wheel of the bus broke off and fell on the floor. Three learners were admitted to hospital while more than 20 others received treatment for minor injuries.

The DA is grateful that no serious injuries were recorded.

Last year, the SIU released damning findings against the department for irregularly awarding the previous scholar transport tender. This also saw some service providers having to return the payments they already received.

Cleary the MEC Sello Lehari did not take note of the findings when the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management awarded new scholar transport tenders last year.

The controversies surrounding the North West Scholar Transport tenders confirm the allegations that MEC Lehari and his cabal use it as a political point scoring tool.

The DA will today write to MEC Lehari, demanding him to submit all the details surrounding this new scholar transport tender. The request will include details of the vehicles, owners, roadworthiness certificates, and all due processes that was followed by the department in awarding these contracts.

The mere fact that vehicles that are not roadworthy have been awarded contracts is a cause for serious concern.

The DA will not cower from putting pressure on the MEC and his department until the safety of school children are taken seriously.