Make bus rank a trading house'
MBABANE – The Satellite bus rank should be converted into a trading house for handcraft and second- hand clothing.
This is contained in the recommendations of the subcommittee mandated by government to look for a long-lasting solution to the Satellite Bus Rank impasse. "The handcraft vendors presently operating near the Mzimnene River together with the second-hand clothing vendors presently situated below the main bus rank should all be relocated to the satellite bus rank and allowed to use it on a daily basis," the committee in its report recommended.
The 13-member committee observed that the removal of such vendors would help create more space to the extension of the bus rank. "Public transport should be allowed to drop off and pick up commuters to and from the satellite bus rank," states the report.
The committee also found that there was inadequate involvement of stakeholders by the Municipality in the development of the satellite bus rank.
The Satellite Bus Rank has been declared as a financial drain to the transport operators.
"From a business perspective, public transport operators face financial and (or) operational losses when operating from the satellite bus rank since commuters end up finding alternative means of transport in a bid to avoid taking the long walk to the bus rank," reads the report in part.
It was found that there were additional transport expenses and logistical challenges to the commuters when using the satellite bus rank, especially the elderly, people living with disabilities and ‘sick commuters who would sometimes need to hire taxis to hospital’. The task team also found that there were design constraints at the satellite bus rank thus causing difficulties for big buses when exiting the rank.
... it cost E3.5 million to build rank
MBABANE – The-now contentious satellite bus rank was constructed at a cost of E3.5 million.
The Municipal Council of Manzini purchased the land to construct the Satellite bus rank for E600 000.
This submission was made by the city engineer before the subcommittee headed by Bishop Stephen Masilela. The report states that the construction of the satellite bus rank was the brainchild of the council in 1998. It was for the purpose of easing the congestion in the city.
"It was the evidence of the city engineer that when the satellite bus rank was completed, the council engaged the Local Kombi Association with the view to operationalise it," states the report. It was submitted that the Local Kombi Association was content with the idea to construct the satellite bus rank.
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