As Putco buses returned to the roads on Friday morning, the company said it’s working on a new contract that will increase its subsidy from the Gauteng government.
The company halted all bus services on Thursday due to the government’s non-payment of its March subsidy.
Putco said it was not able to buy diesel.
Managing director Franco Pisapia said Putco spends around R47 million a month to purchase fuel.
He noted that while fuel prices increased over the years, the provincial government failed to increase its subsidy.
“Those new contracts are very important that they get out into place asap so that you have a better rate, you have a better funding program for the contracts and therefore, giving companies the ability to develop some reserves to cater for any delay that there may be.”
Pisapia said the company was doing its best to keep ticket prices low.
“It’s a situation where government needs to provide more funding for public transport because we cannot expect the public to pay [high prices for] tickets as they already spend a great portion of their monthly take-home pay [on commuting].”
Meanwhile, the thousands of commuters left stranded after the suspension of the bus service were able to get to work on Friday.
The Department of Transport in Gauteng and the bus company went back and forth blaming each other for the suspension on Friday, before finding a resolution at the negotiating table.
Putco said more diesel was purchased and operations were running smoothly.
The company’s Lindokuhle Xulu said diesel had been delivered to various business units and depots at Putco and that operations resumed on Friday morning.
“The morning operations have already reported that everything is running smoothly, and that diesel was delivered successfully to the various business units and depots yesterday on time by the service provider.
“We are working very hard and closely with the relevant department to ensure that what happened yesterday, is a thing of the past and does not happen again.”
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