Pupils may not pay to use bakkies
WHILE delivering his budget speech, MEC for Transport in KZN Mxolisi Kaunda said the department for transport and the Department of Education (DOE) has budgeted R195,3 million to transport pupils by bus.
He warned this budget was still not enough to meet the dire need for a pupil bus service across the province, but said it did assist 47 700 pupils to attend 315 schools in KZN.
Kaunda said his department has started the process to hand over the administration of the provincial pupil transport to the Department of Education.
“Working together with DOE and Treasury, we will seek ways to improve access by especially the most needy learners, in more than 3 000 schools that travel in excess of three kilometres to school.
He said 3 000 bicycles will also be distributed to learners this year, adding to the existing network of approximately 10 000 bicycles already used by learners who cycle to school daily.
Kaunda said he was encouraged by the amendment in the National Land Transport Act, effective from May, that outlaws transportation of persons in bakkies for reward. But he tacitly admitted that the “for reward” qualification in the act still made it possible for bakkie drivers to transport pupils when he asked parents and guardians to ensure their children are transported in roadworthy and legal “transport modes”.