Association decries COVID-19 effects
22 Apr 2021
Vice chairperson of Francistown Buses, Trucks and Taxis Association, Mr Knight Chengeta, says the association is hard hit by the effects of COVID-19.
Speaking in an interview, he said buses plying routes from Gaborone to Francistown, Maun, Kasane, Serowe and other places travelled with 10 or less people.
Affected as they were, he said the movement permits also made the situation more serious since travelers’ permits were not approved to restrict movements.
Mr Chengeta said the fact that there were no longer night travelling buses, they were crowded at day time, something that left them with nothing to cash at the end of the day.
He, however, said even though the situation was too serious, they had not retrenched more than 600 employees
On one hand, he suggested that government should give them subsidy saying the industry was on the brink of collapse.
“We were advised to look for funds at Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) who passed us to CEDA where we were sent to National Development Bank to be told that they only support farmers,” Mr Chengeta added.
Mr Mosekiemang Mokgweetsi of JS Ramolala Buses accused government of taking decisions without consulting with bus owners despite the fact that they employed a considerable number of people.
He argued that restriction of travel during holidays did not necessarily reduce the spread of the disease instead he suggested that only behavioral coupled with awareness could help.
Mr Mokgweetsi said to fuel his bus, he spent more than P5 000 only to cash P1 500 per trip.
Mr Onalethata Bula of Modisa Elias Investments said his 65-seater travelling from Francistown to Serowe could have 14 travelers most of them going to Palapye.
He said most of their buses were parked since they were not getting any profit. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Goweditswe Kome
Location : FRANCISTOWN
Event : Interview
Date : 22 Apr 2021