The DA in the Western Cape welcomes the High Court ruling dismissing Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula’s application for leave to appeal the court order that he develop and implement a plan to secure the safety and security of passengers and drivers of long-distance bus company, Intercape.
The long-distance bus industry has been terrorised and subjected to over 150 cases of extortion, intimidation, and violence in the last three years allegedly by some elements in the mini-bus taxi industry. Minister Mbalula was instructed by the courts to take proactive measures to stop attacks on buses owned by Intercape.
However, instead of doing his duty, Minister Mbalula callously appealed the ruling ordering him and the Eastern Cape’s MEC for Transport to work with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to develop a strategy to avoid violent attacks on long-distance buses.
MPP Ricardo Mackenzie says, “I am delighted that the Eastern Cape High Court has recognised Minister Mbalula’s refusal to work with the relevant authorities and government institutions like provincial authorities and SAPS to address the extortion crisis in the transport industry.
The judgment handed down by Judge John Smith noted that “our partitional dispensation is founded upon the principle of cooperative governance’. Mbalula’s appeal is evidence that he had no interest in resolving the crisis, which if left unaddressed, could lead to irreversible damage and a further loss of life.
The DA in the Western Cape urgently calls on President Ramaphosa to appoint a competent Transport Minister that understands transport and knows what is needed to get South Africa out of this crisis. Mbalula should vacate his office with speed and must be replaced by a Minister who will put the interests, dignity, and safety of South African road users and public transport infrastructure at the forefront of their service.”