Today's Big Stories

Putco Gauteng crisis, Nersa on rejecting Eskom hikes, Marikana as tourism site

Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng, Tshwane Putco bus cancelled from tomorrow

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: as of tomorrow, Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) buses will be taking over some of Putco's (Public Utility Transport Corporation) subsidised bus routes. Putco has cancelled contracts for the Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng and Tshwane services as the Putco MD Franco Pisapia says these routes are unsustainable:

It's by choice because unfortunately, they've (the subsidised bus routes) become totally unsustainable and there are discussions that have been happening for the last five years with the Department of Transport; it's a whole funding problem that's become common knowledge to everybody in the industry. From the bus point of view, bus contracts are unsustainable at this point in time. We've subsidised these routes for the last five years and the other routes that we operate are also not profitable; and we've advised the department more than six months ago of these particular routes and up to date, the department has not even nominated an alternative operator.

Nersa Eskom hike decision also influenced by local govt legislation

Heard on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: with Eskom having to reconsider its options following a rejection from Nersa (the National Energy Regulator of South Africa) to approve a 25.3% tariff increase, details have emerged behind the regulator's decision. The regulatory member responsible for electricity at Nersa, Thembani Bukula says local government legislation - along with other factors - also came into play:

Our function always requires a delicate balance between the interests and requirements of your customers - whether it's business or domestic customers - your investors that plough into Eskom and your utility, Eskom, where you have to balance your decisions against it's abilities, which is always a very difficult one. Having said that, we've also looked at the other legal requirements, for instance, even if we had granted the increase, municipalities were never going to be able to implement that increase because the Municipal Finance Management Act stipulates that they must have their budgets and tariffs approved by the 30th of May and once that happens, they can't be changed until the following year.

Proposal to re-configure Marikana as a justice tourism site

File image of striking miners in Marikana, August, 2012. Credit: AFP

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: a local tourism lecturer has put in a proposal to have Marikana be developed into a particular form of cultural heritage site. Tshwane University of Technology tourism lecturer Unathi Henama unpacks his proposition to have Marikana turned into what he calls a 'Justice tourism' site:

The tourism industry can actually alleviate many of the problems faced in Marikana by taking this site of a tragedy and then packaging it for tourism consumption - just like Alcatraz, just like Robben Island; just like many cultural heritage sites that there as part of township tourism. We usually call it 'justice tourism' - where you allow the victims of that tragedy to articulate what happened. The story of Marikana must become a constant story and we should use it to bring financial benefit to the locals around that area.

Learn more about Justice tourism here

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