By Anathi Wulushe

The Eastern Cape Department of Transport announced on Friday, that the Department has availed R73 Million to pay debt owed to Scholar Transport operators.

EC Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxotiwe said R33-Million had already been paid out to operators while the remaining R40 million had been processed and expected to reflect on operators’ bank accounts by February 22nd for the first batch while the final batch will be paid by February 25th.

Tikana-Gxotiwe said the money came about as a result of re-prioritising and diverting some of the department’s programmes as well as cutting down on events and travelling.

“All that money has been channelled towards what is owed to scholar transport operators. The aim is to ensure that learners are transported and are able to get to and from school on time. We have always been open with operators on our state of finances everytime we have engagements with them. Even the 40 million that we have made available to them was communicated. We have some serious challenges, but they are certainly not insurmountable,” said Tikana-Gxotiwe.

The department said it is committed to paying every operator for a service rendered.

Nearly 70 % of deserving learners are benefiting from the Scholar Transport initiative.

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