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Pupils suffer after buses impounded

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The vehicles were pulled off the road by law enforcement officers and it was discovered that the vehicle identification number differed from the disc number and that the buses were apparently heavily overloaded.

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TWO BUSES that were commissioned to transport pupils in the Phokwane district were impounded by the police about two weeks ago, which has resulted in pupils arriving late to and from school every day.

The vehicles were pulled off the road by law enforcement officers and it was discovered that the vehicle identification number differed from the disc number and that the buses were apparently heavily overloaded.

Police spokesperson, Captain Olebogeng Tawana, confirmed that two vehicles were confiscated “for the purpose of enquiry and investigation”.

The vehicles are being stored at the police station in Hartswater, while one of the buses reportedly does not have a vehicle registration number.

According to sources, the service provider apparently received payment of R700 000 last month.

Spokesperson for the Department of Education, Geoffrey van der Merwe, confirmed that pupils attending Tadcaster Primary School have been negatively affected due to challenges relating to pupil transport.

“Pupils making use of pupil transport do not arrive on time at school. The Department of Education is doing its utmost best to ensure that their school work remains on par,” said Van der Merwe.

He added that they had reported these challenges to the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison to be addressed.

“We have the safety and the best interest of all our pupils at heart. We hope that it will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Keitumetse Moticoe, indicated that the department “had no knowledge of pupil transport challenges affecting pupils at Tadcaster Primary School.

“However, we take this in a serious light and will look into it and resolve any challenges to ensure that the schooling of children is not affected.”

Moticoe stated that the two pupil transport buses were impounded during law enforcement operations. “The department deems the safety of communities and all road users, including our children, as critical. The law must always be enforced without fear or favour and we respect the work of law enforcement officials.”

Moticoe denied that the service provider was paid an amount of R700 000.

“The department cannot divulge contractual agreements or payments of service providers.”