Hammanskraal commuters protest over poor bus services

Protesting commuters alleged that the North West Starline buses were unfit for the road.

About 600 bus commuters embarked on a march in Hammanskraal on Friday, protesting against poor bus services from North West Starline (NWS) and calling for the transport service to be terminated.

According to Simon Sephokgol, a volunteering chairperson of the newly formed Hammanskraal Commuters Forum (HCF), the NWS buses that travel on almost all the routes in Hammanskraal were unfit for the road and resulted in commuters losing their jobs.

“People lose jobs because these buses break down on the road, cause accidents and as a result people fail to arrive early at work and they [commuters] end up losing their jobs,” Sephokgol said.

In a memorandum handed over to the CEO of NWS on Friday, commuters demanded that City of Tshwane supply them with a bus service as they fall under Gauteng and not the North West province.

“The North West Starline Forum of Passengers (NWSF) don’t communicate with passengers when they make changes to how their buses are going to run,” Sephokgol said.

Talking to The Citizen, Sephokgol said that this was their second march since 2014.

“We marched in 2014 where we were complaining about the same bus services but our matter was not attended too.”

Hammanskraal police spokesperson Constable Herman Moremi said the protest was peaceful and no damage was caused.

“The people went back to their separate homes after the protest. All roads are clear but the Public Order Police are still monitoring the area.”

The commuters requested the Tshwane MMC of Roads and Transport, Sheila Senkubuge to respond within seven days, adding that tickets were no longer allowed to be sold to commuters.

Sephokgol said they calling on taxi associations to help them with transport from next week.

MMC Senkubuge was contacted, however she did not reply at the time of publishing.

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