Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane recently met with the senior management of Putco Bus Services following the death of six commuters on the 21st of May 2021.
The Mpumalanga residents died after the Putco bus they were travelling in caught fire. Some of the passengers burnt beyond recognition while four are still in a critical condition in hospital with sever burn wounds.
The Mpumalanga Government delegation led by the Premier comprised of MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe; Nkangala District Municipality Executive Mayor, Councillor Sarah Masilela and Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Councillor Nomsa Mtsweni.
The Premier said it was important for the bus company to take responsibility for the tragedy and do right by the families.
“Those people who died are residents of Mpumalanga Province, they were bread winners, mostly women. Most importantly they were mothers who had no choice but to board that bus in order to put food on the table for their children. Seated where we are we have an obligation as public representatives to make sure that those women’s dreams for their children are fulfilled” said the Premier.
After over six hours of negotiations the bus company agreed to providing the following for the families of the deceased;
- A contribution of R100 000.00 towards funeral expenses per family;
- Putco to replace the earnings of the deceased and the injured with a monthly minimum contribution of R 10 000 per family pending finalization of Road Accident Fund processes or the payment from the public liability insurance fund.
- Four critically injured commuters to be transferred to Milpark private hospital with full medical expenses amounting to R1million per patient to be incurred by Putco, in accordance with their policy provisions.
- All commuters who were involved in the incident to receive post accident trauma counselling provided by PUTCO. This counselling to also be provided for the immediate families of the commuters with bi-annual reports to be submitted to Mpumalanga and Gauteng provincial governments.
- Putco shall assist all the families with Road Accident Fund or Public Liability Insurance applications.
- Putco to provide two buses per family for the funerals.
- Putco to consider employment opportunities for one family member for each of the deceased families.
- Provincial Government has committed to appoint an independent private forensic investigator within the next 14 days.
- Provincial Government will also appoint an independent actuaries to determine the value of prospective financial loss.