Parents feel unfairly treated by scholar transport drivers who demand full payment
Parents have raised complaints about being ‘overcharged’ as scholar transport drivers demand a full payment for their services.
It is in no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has financially crippled scholar transport drivers since the closure of schools in March. After schools commenced, scholar transport drivers and owners demanded the monthly payment to be paid in full despite pupils attending 2-3 days a week as per the COVID-19 level 2 regulations.
Nonkululeko Gumede, a mother of a Grade 3 pupil who utilises the private scholar transport said she feels she is being charged unfairly as she is demanded to pay the full amount while her daughter only attends 3 days a week.
“Initially the school taxi from Ntuzuma to Phoenix costs R600 a month and the drivers demand that the whole amount must be paid in full even though my daughter attends roughly 12 days a month. The scholar transport owners and drivers are being unfair to us,” she said.
Gumede also added that she feels the drivers and owners are using parents to gain the money they lost during the closure of schools.
Ayanda Khuzwayo, a scholar transport driver and owner said the lockdown brought major struggles as he had no money coming in.
“The scholar transport business is the only source of income I have and the lockdown really had me struggling as it brought my income into a halt. Now that the junior grades are back in school and I have just returned to work, it is still a major struggle. Some parents drive their children to school, others fear sending them to school. So the money I get currently is little,” said Khuzwayo.
Khuzwayo said parents need to try and work together with the drivers and try to understand the situation.
“I have had some parents complaining about paying the full amount since their children attend for 2-3 days. The loads we take are not full loads since some learners travel with their parents and the money we receive is little. The taxi travels for the full month since there are different grades so we need more money to cover petrol for the whole month and to pay drivers. Parent’s need to bear with us,” he said.