BCM Council still silent on DA questions after 8 months
DA councillor Sue Bentley says she has witnessed suspicious behaviour from BCM municipal bus drivers firsthand, and has described the bus depot as a “disaster”.
“I am well aware that drivers are skipping routes completely, leaving people stranded,” she said.
“The allegations of drivers pocketing money have also been brought to my attention. One morning in September last year, I was parked outside in Buffalo Park Drive at about 7.45am when I saw a bus stopped there.
“When I approached the driver, he said he needed to wee which is why he had stopped there instead of proceeding 400m further to the depot.
“I did not confront him immediately after he stopped – I waited a few minutes. He was very intent on working on a calculator when I climbed into the bus as he did not immediately see me. I then followed him and he turned into the yard adjacent to the depot and took about 20 minutes to take his takings to the cashier.”
Bentley said she had brought the situation to the attention of the council on numerous occasions. In June, DA councillors Marion Mackley and Isabel Thompson submitted questions to the municipality’s development and planning portfolio committee about the “unreliable” bus service.
Among the questions raised were issues of:
High levels of driver absenteeism;
Frequent absenteeism of the superintendent;
How often and by whom were drivers’ waybills checked;
Whether checks had been done on how much money each driver brought in;
Whether lifestyle audits had been done on drivers;
Public complaints that tickets are not always issued to commuters despite the fare being taken;
When last bus trackers were evaluated to ensure a whole bus run was being done and times were adhered to.
To date, the councillors had received no response, Bentley said.