Farmer’s kindness helps bus passengers
A 10HOUR or deal by the p assengers of a Greyhound bus trapped in Thursday’s blis tering heat b y aft er an oil spillag e on the N3 high way, was made bearable by the kindness of a local f armer.
Dave Smit, a f armer near Lions River w here an oil t anker spilled 20 000 litres of oil, spent his o wn money t o bu y the bus p assengers food and drink s.
The bus was among hundreds of trucks and car s that were stranded by the closure of the N3 as a r esult of the spillage on an extremely hot and blus tery da y.
Smit told The Witness he had approached people s tuck on the r oad to ask them t o put out their cig arettes carefully so as not ot spark any fires. T he p assengers of the bus asked him f or water.
“I gave them the water, and I went back to my house and brought some other items — some f ood and cool drinks f or them. I also g ave them more water.”
Smit said he could not help everyone but was able to assist the people close t o where he w as.
“There were many people including childr en and elder s.”
He said the bus company had offered to reimburse him the mone y, but he did not xpecte to be paid back.
Greyhound’s r egional manag er Srenika Royeppen said the company was v ery gr ateful t o Smit.
She said when the passengers finally arri ved at their de stination some of them had c omplained about the dela y.
“It was totally out of our control, there was nothing that we could do. No one could get to them,” she said.
Other motorists were irate at the extremely long road closure and the alleged “don’t care” attitude of the authorities.
“We were stuck there for hours. We couldn’t go anywhere. That area has no shops. T he lit tle [food and water] we had on our way from Johannesburg did not las t,” said one man.
The motorist said the authorities could have used v ehicles that were seen p atrolling the N3 t o bring or sell water to the stranded motorists.
“There must have been more than 300 truck s ther e,” he said.