Kombi operators are crying foul over ambushes of their clients by tourism buses that operate with a school bus permit.
The buses are said to be operating with temporary licenses and kombi operators are at a loss as to how they managed to obtain them without the Department of Transport having consulted them first.
The chairperson of the Gaborone Taxi and Local Bus Service Association, Gibson Matenge, said, “I feel they broke the law.” Matenge went on to say that to the best of his knowledge buses are not allowed to operate with two licenses.
The report that Matenge produced showed that there has been only one kombi that was involved in an accident and this was in July 16, 2008. The kombi was registered on their route.
“Why did the parents choose this particular bus service? Of all buses, why didn’t the parents invite other bus services to make this issue fair? This clearly calls for the DCEC. Who knows, maybe some people are related!” said Matenge.
The kombi drivers say they are not afraid of competition if the competition comes to them in a legitimate manner, not being ambushed like now.
“The current licenses used by the buses expire on the 28th of this month. What if the licenses are not renewed and we, kombi drivers, decide that we won’t transport the school children, will this be fair on our people? The mines are closing down and some buses were used by some mines to transport workers, what will happen when the mines re-open in the middle of the school term and the mine offers a better pay check than PTA?”
Malau Daniel Maoto, who is the Transport Operation Manager at AT & T Monnakgotla, said they were not in a position to talk to the media as this issue is very sensitive and negotiations were still on going. Maoto said none of their buses picks school children from the bus rank or go via the bus rank. Efforts to talk to the Public Relation Officer of the Department of Transport proved futile.