Normal schooling resumes after Knysna tragedy

The Western Cape Education Department says learning has returned to normal at schools in the Southern Cape. This after learners were stranded following the suspension of the service of the bus company involved in last month’s accident which claimed the lives of a bus driver and 14 learners of the Rheenendal Primary School. 

This week, the South African Democratic Teachers Union criticised the department for its failure to provide alternative transport. Western Cape Education Department spokesperson, Paddy Attwell, says a meeting with stakeholders was convened to address the matter. 

Attwell says they are pleased to report that transport was back to normal in the Southern Cape this morning following the meeting, with some buses making double trips where necessary. He says the main concern is the safety of learners and for this reason they welcome the action taken by the traffic authorities. 

The Western Cape Education Ministry says it’s obtaining legal advice on whether to terminate the contract of the bus company involved in the fatal crash. The Ministry has concluded its investigation into the matter and found there was a breach of contractual agreements. 

Police and traffic officials raided TJ’s Motor Vehicle Testing Station yesterday, following investigations into accident. The bus plunged into the swollen Kassat se Drift river. The bus was found to have had a range of defects. 

Western Cape Transport Minister Robin Carlisle says they discovered very serious defects on the bus, which he described as a killer bus. Inspectors say the ill-fated bus should not have been allowed on the road let alone transport learners to school.

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