Learner transport organisation meets parents

Some of the KETO members during the parents meeting J Dumani Community Hall on Saturday, March 18.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss payment and operational challenges that KETO has been experiencing and to find solutions.

Explaining the challenges to parents, chairperson of the organisation John Moss said there are cheap fly-by-night operators that do the same job as them.

“The problem about them is that they are not registered with the organisation. They will take your money and transport your children to school for only a few days and then disappear.

“Another problem is that their vehicles are not roadworthy. They do not operate when police are conducting a roadblock. That is why your children sometimes miss school. If you report these problems to us, we won’t be able to help you,” said Moss.

He said if parents want to ensure the safety of their children, they should know the name of the operator, vehicle registration number and the colour of vehicle the operator is driving and have the operators’ contact number.

“In that case you will be able to communicate with the operator in case you want to know the whereabouts of your child,” Moss explained.

Oupa Sekete, the programme director and the general secretary of KETO, said some parents take a long time to get their children ready for school, resulting in learners being late for school.

“All learners arrive late at school just because of one learner who was not on time.

“When learners arrive at school, they don’t have enough time to rest and adjust to the school environment,” said Sekete.

He said this affects learners psychologically.

Sekete also complained about parents who accompany their children to transport pick-up spots, dressed only in towels.

“That kind of dress code is not proper because it affects the operators, especially if the towel falls,” said Sekete.

Sekete also complained about parents don’t pay their fees on time.

He advised parents to inform drivers on time is they know their children won’t be going to school.

The general secretary of KETO, Oupa Sekele.

 

KETO’s Joyce Phooko explained how payment works, as it has been confusing some parents.

“You are only paying for the school-going days. For example, in 2017, there are only 199 school-going days. You will only be paying for these days, not for public holidays or when the schools are closed. But you will be requested to pay a flat rate every month,” said Phooko.

She said parents paying R700 per month are charged R42.30 per day for 199 days. This amounts to R8 418 per year.

Phooko said parents have a choice to pay monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or once a year.

Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) representatives attended the meeting to reassure parents about the safety of their children on the road.

Puleng Nkopane of the EMPD Social Crime Prevention Unit said they will fine all operators who transport learners without operator permits.

“We fine nothing less than R500 for the above-mentioned crime.

“The cars that are allowed to carry children to school must have two discs – one is the licence disc and the other an operator disc. We also check if the driver has a valid driver’s licence and a public delivery permit. If one of the above is missing that particular driver will not allowed to transport your children, and we will make sure of it,” said Nkopane.

Nkopane said drivers operating under the influence of alcohol and those who overload their vehicles will also be penalised, as will those who exceed the speed limit and disobey the rules of the road.

Parents attend the meeting called by Katlehong Education Transport Organisation at J Dumani Community Hall on Saturday, March 18.

 

Parent Themba Notyesi from Vosloorus asked if the operators could reduce the payment in months such as April, July and December, when there are fewer days.

But Moss referred him to the payment breakdown of R42.30 per day for 199 days.

Bonginkosi Zwane from Germiston asked what happens with learners’ transportation during detention and extramural activities because their children struggle with transport or they arrive very late. As a result they are unable to do their homework.

KETO member Busisiwe Silahlwa replied that parents should organise transport for learners if their children are detained or have extramural activities.

“Even if a child is going to come back late from a school trip, parents must organise transport for their children because there is no way an operator can make the whole load of learners late just because of one learner,” said Silahlwa.

Another parent, Joseph Matikwane, complained about EMPD officials who want bribes of R20 instead of issuing fines to drivers of vehicles that are not roadworthy. He said this places their children’s lives in danger.

Nkopane said parents are equally at fault because they are free to report those police officers.

“The police officers who do that barbaric act must be reported and drastic actions against them must be taken,” said Nkopane.

IRPTN takes shape

One of the parents, Catherine Skhova, suggested that the transportation contract forms should be amended.

“Operators must state in the contract forms that there will be a fine on parents who pay after the third of every month. It must also be stated that there will be parents’ meetings and the dates should be mentioned as well,” said Skhova.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 10, at Banguni Community Hall and then another one will take place at J Dumani Community Hall on Sunday, September 17.

Parents were advised to report on anything they are not happy about. Those living in Germiston can contact the Germiston office on 073 164 2366 or 082 394 5506. The Boksburg office numbers are 072 238 1075 and 076 664 8582. Those in Katlehong can contact 076 581 3081. The Palm Ridge numbers are 083 340 4018 and 072 656 1273. The Alberton office can be reached on 011 869 3335.

find your
dream home

looking for an
affordable
apartment

List your Property

It's easy in only three
simple steps...

find professional
services in
your area

Locate a business
operating in
your area

List your Business

Want more customers? They're online right now, searching for businesses like yours. Place your ad now...

Latest News

COMMENTS

germistoncitynewssoutherncourier_publicationcomaro_publicationgetit
Top