The Eastern Cape Transport Department says it has set aside R73-million to pay monies owed to scholar transport operators in the province.
The operators are threatening to embark on a total shutdown on Monday. Algoa Bus, a bus company based in Gqeberha, also announced it will suspend its services due to the strike.
The department says R33-million has already been paid to the operators while the remaining R40-million is being processed and will reflect on the taxi operators’ bank accounts next week.
Provincial Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe says they will conduct some verification to claims submitted in December when learners were not attending school.
She says they are in talks with the Premier and Treasury to source additional funds.
“As the department, we are having R40 million. We are still short of R38 million which we are working on with the Treasury and the office of the Premier. We just hope that we will get that R38 million and pay for all that is outstanding, but what we cannot do is to pay for February and March because we do not have that money. It will be definitely paid in April. All those invoices which have been processed will be paid and their money will appear in their banks by Wednesday next week,” says operators.