The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA), Chief Executive Officer Mr Lwazi Mboyi, has noted with concern the unfortunate illegal cross-border operation undertaken through a foreign bus operator during the Easter period. In terms of the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology, the principle of mutual recognition is applied where permits issued by a member state are recognized by all Member States. Member States must however ensure that cross-border operators operate within the confines of the respective country laws and the countries they conduct cross-border operations in.
The bus in question is a Zimbabwe registered bus and the cross-border permit in this regard would not have been issued by the Department of Transport or the licensing authority in South Africa. The bus was inspected by the law enforcement authorities and presented a permit allegedly issued by the Republic of Zimbabwe. Subsequently, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development in Zimbabwe indicated that they did not issue any cross-border permit to the said operator/bus and therefore the permit presented by the operator is deemed fraudulent. Further, the Road Transport Inspectorate issued the appropriate notice for failing to produce a passenger list in terms of the law.
The said operator has allegedly been repeatedly fined by the Department of Home Affairs for carrying undocumented foreign nationals and they are in the database of Department of Home Affairs as habitual offenders. The matter regarding the driver not having a valid passport and passengers with expired passports falls within the purview of the Department of Home Affairs as per the relevant immigration laws.
The C-BRTA has been in contact with its counterpart in Zimbabwe regarding the conduct of this operator with a view of ensuring that Zimbabwe halts the operations of this bus and/or operator.
We further call upon the Road Transport Inspectorate and Law Enforcement which is conducted on behalf of the C-BRTA by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) as well as all other law enforcement authorities to deal with this matter urgently and apply the full force of the law. We will also engage our Zimbabwean counterparts to ensure that this operator is dealt with accordingly in line with provisions of the bilateral agreement pertaining to cross-border operations.
For more information, please contact Ms Mmenyane Seoposengwe on 072 783 3783 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.