SADTU mourns the tragic loss of four learners who died as a result of an accident involving a private scholar taxi in Tlhabane, Rustenburg.

The accident occurred after a Toyota Avanza that was turned into a private scholar taxi that was ferrying learners from primary schools around Tlhabane, got stuck on the railway lines near Zinniaville and was hit by a goods train.

Three learners were certified dead at the scene and the fourth one died at the nearby George Mukhari Hospital the following day, the 21st March 2014. The driver was unharmed while 12 other learners sustained injuries. They were treated at the same hospital and discharged the following day.

The schools affected by this tragedy include JD Mosia Primary, Bosa Bosele Primary, Play Way and Little Put Early Learning Centres. May the soul of the departed learners rest in peace and the sorrow of the bereaved families and injured learners find comfort and solace in the Almighty.

As a union, as we send out this condolence message, we also want to send a strong expression of shock that to date there seems to be no plans in place to curb and avert these tragedies whilst reports of these are piling up in the offices of the Department of Education as well as in various Legislatures.

Whilst safety of public learner transport seems to have occupied the centre stage, private hire transport is left unattended whereas there is scavengerism and vulturism taking place there with impunity right under the nose the powers that be.

The private scholar transport hire sector has to be attended to vigilantly with a clear notion to standardize and regularizes it focusing on:

  1. Safety measures and features of vehicles.
  2. Acceptable quota of learners per vehicle.
  3. Fares, tariffs and fees payable.
  4. Payment options.
  5. Certification and driver validation.
  6. Procurement processes.

Any further lapse and delays in attending urgently to this present and coming danger may prove just too costly hence we call upon the Department to initiate a discussion and find a lasting solution to this demon.
Although we are encouraged by the support the Department and all stake holders demonstrated at the Memorial Service as well as commitments made in this regard the union still strongly believe that the further delays with respect to establishing effective School Safety Directorate and units from school to corporate levels  will forever expose our inequities and deficiencies.

At this stage we can’t pretend as if everything is normal and good, something must be done and somebody must do or suffer the consequences of their inability to act when signs and tell-tales clearly shows any further delays cannot be afforded.

Issued By SADTU North West