The buses were sourced through the Gauteng Small Bus Operators Council, in response to commuter complaints relating to the quality of service provided by the North-West Transport Investment (NTI).
The unveiling followed the Minister’s engagement with community members last weekend.
The introduction of buses is part of an ongoing process to provide a safe, efficient, reliable and affordable transport system.
The 40 buses will form part of a complement of 220, the procurement of which will be done through sub-contracting on the existing NTI contract. The buses will cover the routes that the NTI was not able to service due to fleet shortages.
“We have made a number of commitments to the community and we are here to deliver on those commitments. As we indicated on Saturday, the process to deliver on all the commitments will be incremental.
“Finalising the paperwork and ensuring that procurement is in line with the procurement rules and the terms of the contract will take at least a week. However, the deployment of more buses will take place in stages as they have to be sourced from different service providers and operators,” the Minister said.
Gauteng province will soon go out on tender to secure a new service provider.
The Department for Transport said the competitive bidding process will not exclude anyone, including the NTI, should the company resolve its capacity challenges.
“I must emphasise that this exercise is not meant to drive NTI out of business, but to prioritise the interests of the people and improve the quality of service. The accelerated delivery mandate of this sixth administration requires us to place the people at the centre of our service delivery interventions.
“The NTI is a State-owned company and our responsibility is to ensure that it is able to provide quality service wherever it operates and that the jobs of its employees are not under threat as a result of these interventions,” Mbalula said.
An Interim Board is expected to expedite commitments to turn the NTI around so that it is able to meet its contractual obligations.
The Board will prioritise a forensic investigation into allegations of maladministration, theft and corruption at the bus company. – SAnews.gov.za