Monday, February 13, 2023

Some learners left stranded as CODETA demands scholar transport contracts

Many learners in Khayelitsha were stranded on Monday morning as scholar transport drivers suspended operations following disagreements between taxi association, Cape Organisation for the Democratic Taxi Association (CODETA), and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

City of Cape Town Traffic Services spokesperson, Kevin Jacobs said that affected roads include Baden Powell, Swartklip Road and Steve Biko Road.

A voice note has been circulating stating that there’s a shutdown and those affliated with the Western Cape’s Scholar Transport Association should avoid the area.

PICTURE: Notice from Western Cape Scholar Transport Association regarding disruptions

The disruptions, which began last week, saw up to 2 400 learners affected A driver transporting special needs learners, was forced to turn back as he feared for his safety and took learners home.

It’s alleged the taxi association have issued a threat to “offload” learners from any transport not operated by minibus taxi association members, posing a serious threat to our children’s safety, which allegedly includes parents driving their children to school because their usual transport is not operating.

Education MEC, David Maynier said the minibus taxi associations have been spreading disinformation, claiming that they were promised contracts by the Western Cape Education Department.

‘’This is false. Minibus taxi association members have been threatening and harassing our contracted drivers to prevent them from transporting learners. This is an attempt to muscle in on transport contracts and to extort money from the Western Cape Education Department.’’

‘’Minibus taxi associations are demonstrating that in order to line their own pockets, they are willing to compromise the matric exams and compromise teaching and learning in our schools, sacrificing the best interest of our children,’’ he added.

Maynier says due processes needs to be followed, before a contract can be signed for CODETA to transport learners.

‘’Let us be clear: the Western Cape Education Department will not meet with any minibus taxi association until they terminate their blockade, and teaching and learning resumes without disruption,’’ said the MEC.

The MEC said he would meet with Western Cape’s Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile, to discuss plans from the South African Police Service to mitigate the attempted extortion and intimidation by the taxi industry, and to ensure that learners’ safety.

Done By: Mitchum George

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