Bus conductors to march to ministers
MANZINI – Bus conductors have announced that there will be no transport in Manzini tomorrow as they will march to deliver a petition to Ministers Ntuthuko Dlamini and Lutfo Dlamini over the Satellite Bus Rank impasse.
The Swaziland Transport and Allied Workers Union (STAWU) has resolved to march to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to deliver a petition. The association, which is made up of bus conductors and drivers, has resolved to stage the march whether the court application against the relocation to the Satellite Bus Rank succeeded or not.
The last protest action by bus conductors and drivers brought Manzini to a standstill as they clashed with the police. The Secretary General of the union, Simanga Shongwe, said the march is meant to highlight their concerns and protest against what he called a forced relocation of public transport from the main bus rank to the Satellite Bus Rank. For almost two weeks, public transport operators have resisted relocating to the Satellite Bus Rank.
Shongwe said the march would be to deliver petitions vetoing Manzini Satellite Bus Rank operation forced by Manzini city council.
"On Friday (tomorrow) we will furnish the different ministries with a petition with contents based on the subject aforesaid among other things," reads the statement.
"Our desire is to find a solution to the issue of the bus rank, and that can be achieved by involving all stakeholders to find common ground on the matter. Roping in the two ministries may lead all the people concerned to a lasting solution. We want a platform with the Manzini City Council to find a solution to the matter," added Shongwe.
Shongwe said the association would announce travelling arrangements for its membership tomorrow’s march.
Commuters stranded, forced to hitchhike
MANZINI – Commuters were left stranded yesterday as a result of the stand-off between the public transport operators of the east-bound route and the Manzini City Council.
The commuters were stranded at the Satellite Bus Rank as early 11am as there was no transport. These are commuters from the Lubombo region and parts of the Hhohho region.
Commuters flocked to the Manzini traffic circle at Coates Valley, where they hitchhiked.
Some commuters allege that some of the kombis were stopped by police officers if they did not have a certain ticket to prove they were from the Satellite Bus Rank.
Follow the right channels - Percy warns
MANZINI - Government spokesperson Percy Simelane said it was the bus conductors’ right to deliver petitions but warned them to follow the right channels.
He said it would be only good if they followed all the necessary channels, so to avoid meeting challenges along the way.
ã€€"Everyone has the right to voice out his or her concerns with the government, so we can only trust that the Swaziland Transport and Allied Workers Union has followed all the channels. It can be also a good thing for them to finally decide on the issue of transport operators boycotting the Satellite Bus Rank, for its the Swazi people who are suffering at the end," he said.
ã€€He went on to say the issue of the transport industry was worrying government and they would not like to find themselves in a position where they had to take charge of the transport industry. He encouraged all the parties involved to talk the issue out.
... meanwhile E36 000 lost at Mbabane Bus Rank
MBABANE - The Swaziland Commercial Amadoda Road Transport Council (SCARTCO) and the Municipal Council of Mbabane have taken the Swaziland local Kombi Association and seven kombi operators to court over the control of the capital city’s bus rank which has seen them lose E36 330 in rank fees.
The council through its attorney Ncedo Ndlangamandla has moved an urgent application at the High Court seeking an order interdicting and restraining the local kombi association and the seven operators from interfering with the applicant’s ( Swaziland Commercial Amadoda Road Transport Council) possession, control and management of the bus rank.
They also want the court to issue an order stopping them from collecting levies from public transport operators of the bus terminus situated in Lot 226/2 , Mbabane in the Hhohho region. The respondents are still to file their papers in this matter.
Honestly, I do not understand the problem faced by the eastbound transport operators. Why because they complain of loss of business when stranded commuters are found at the satellite bus rank but no transport to help them. Also, the satellite bus rank is the first bus rank Manzini ever had so its not like something new and people know this and I think have no problem with that. Look at it this way, if all eastbound transport leaves from the satellite bus rank then who else will steak their people since all people going east will normally go to the satellite bus rank. I simply don't understand their problem.
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