NPTR backlog horrors continues
A high-level meeting, brokered by former Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, was held last week with the Department of Transport, chaired by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, and attended by SATSA Deputy Chair Oupa Pilane, CEO David Frost, Transport Committee Chair Onne Vegter and TBCSA Chair Blacky Komani, among others.
There was an acknowledgement of the problem from both sides and the common cause having been defined, the meeting swiftly progressed into finding solutions, with Minister Mbalula setting an expeditious timeframe to get the issue resolved quickly.
To that end, there was an agreement that a technical team from SATSA, headed by Vegter would sit with DoT Deputy Director General Mathabatha Mokonyama and find solutions. Further, during the meeting, it was agreed that a joint statement would be issued once progress is made in resolving this matter.
Says Pilane: “The first thing on the table which is non-negotiable is an immediate moratorium to stop the ongoing impounding of our vehicles while we are clearing the issues.”
Pilane says it came as a surprise to SATSA that the DoT released a statement last night that it has cleared the operating licence backlog for tour operators in the Tourism Sector.
“The statement is misleading as the backlog has not been cleared. It is also premature since this is a joint process involving both SATSA and the DoT and the technical team to drive the solutions has yet to meet.
“We hope our session this week will result in clear deliverables and solutions, with a concrete timeline as we need our vehicles on the road as soon as yesterday,” Pilane concludes.