Frequent Bus Breakdowns Become a Norm

The roadworthiness of some long distance buses operating locally and out of the country is in doubt following a series of complaints among travellers who say the frequent breaking down of buses has become a norm.

Travellers lament the fact many long distance buses plying the route to Katima Mulilo and Victoria Falls more often than not break down before reaching their final destination.

Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) Deputy President, Jeffery Platt attributes the frequent breakdowns to the fact there is no association regulating big buses.

He says if there was an association for big buses, it could regularly monitor their roadworthiness from time to time.

“It is so unfortunate that we could not integrate the big buses to our association because when we started, they were already established in the transportation business,” explained Platt.

He said NABTA has a long standing policy that enables it to inspect all the mini-buses before departing and going for roadworthiness tests every after six months.

He further said NABTA has buses on standby almost in every town and that’s how they are able to solve the inconvenience to customers in terms of breakdowns.

In response to this New Era, Henry Siska, the manager of Insight coaches that operates from Windhoek-Katima and as far as Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, said that they own three buses that all have service plans.

He said their service plan entail servicing their fleet after every 20 000 km clocked on the long-distance routes.

“I cannot say much about other buses but nor can I deny that breakdowns are not there. The only thing I can assure you and the customers out there is that our buses are always fine and moving, it is just that passengers have a tendency to bad mouth us judging us all on one incidence” said Siska.

The ones suffering are those that only have one bus operating because they hardly have a backup plan to save the passengers from the inconvenient situation, he said.

Source : New Era