The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport will appoint an independent investigator, supported by fire experts, to determine the cause of the bus fire that claimed the lives of six people and injured several others.
“The department is deeply concerned and worried by what has happened. We also send our deep, heartfelt condolences to families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident. We wish the injured a speedy recovery,” Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo said in a statement on Monday.
Six commuters died after a PUTCO bus caught fire on Moloto Road on Friday afternoon.
Mamabolo visited the survivors of the accident at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Sunday.
The MEC has welcomed the investigations by PUTCO and law-enforcement agencies into the causes of the fire.
The cause of the fire is not known at this stage. The department is awaiting the results of the investigations to determine the next course of action.
The department manages 34 bus subsidy contracts (26 tendered and eight interim contracts) awarded to 13 bus operators.
“These are funded through the Public Transport Operations Grant (PTOG). Two other ceded contracts from North-West Province are funded by the Gauteng province. The contracts are operated in the metros, namely Cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni as well as Sedibeng District Municipality.
“The subsidised services are operated by bus companies on behalf of government through a system of interim or tendered contracts,” the department said.