SA Roadlink contests licence ban

SA Roadlink has taken KwaZulu-Natal transport minister Bheki Cele to court in a bid to overturn his decision to withdraw the national bus operator’s licence from Friday midnight.

Cele, addressing a press conference in Durban, said he was due to meet with the management of the company when he was informed that the company had lodged papers seeking an interdict against his decision to stop the company’s operations in the province.

According to Cele the papers were lodged with the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Cele on Wednesday announced that he was withdrawing the operator’s licence and that all its buses would have to stop operating in the province from midnight on Friday.

Cele said: “Roadlink has taken us to court. They are trying to nullify the decision we have taken.”

He said the planned meeting with the company’s management had not taken place.

The papers had been served on the national Transport Department and had been forwarded by them to the provincial department.

He said that until the courts ruled otherwise on the matter, the department would continue to enforce the ban on SA Roadlink buses in the province from midnight onwards.

Cele withdrew the company’s operating permit pending the outcome of an investigation into Tuesday morning’s crash, involving an SA Roadlink bus and two other vehicles, which claimed the lives of 11 people.

On Christmas Eve in 2006, an SA Roadlink bus crashed into the pillar of a bridge, resulting in the deaths of 12 people.

Drivers working for the operator, Cele said, had complained of working under poor conditions and newspapers had reported that drivers were told to “double-up” on the roads.—Sapa

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