Natalie Grobler
1 minute read
28 May 2015
4:22 pm

Autistic boy left stranded by Tshwane bus service

Natalie Grobler

A nine-year-old autistic boy from Villieria, in the north of Pretoria, has missed nearly 20 days of school this year as a result of public transport problems, his mother has claimed.

Visually-impaired Penny Morris and her autistic nine-year-old son, Oden, have a daily battle to get him to school. Pic: Rekord Moot

Penny Morris said her son, Oden, has missed close to 20 days’ worth of school work as the Tshwane Metro bus “does not show up”, Rekord Moot reported.

“Public transportation has let us down more than we would like to admit,” said Morris.

Morris said she was jobless as she needed to take care of her child on days the bus failed to arrive. About 50 other disabled children from the Transvalia School for Epilepsy and Learning Disabilities and Sonitus School for the Hearing Impaired along with the Via Nova School use the same bus.

“The supervisor that rides with the children to school has to phone the metro bus services to find out if there is in actual fact a bus arriving on that day. If there are no buses, the supervisor has to phone all the parents and inform them. The lack of proper bus services put unnecessary strain on everyone,” she said,

She said Oden was solely dependent on public transportation as she did not have the money to make alternative arrangements.

“A friend of mine and I discussed renting a bus to get all the children to school and back, but then each child has to pay R400 a month. I only receive a disability grant and paying R130 for a month bus card that we hardly ever use is already expensive,” Morris said.

Tshwane municipality spokesperson Lindela Mashigo on Thursday told The Citizen Tshwane Bus Service Management had been made aware of Morris’ complaints and would be launching an investigation into the matter.

“The City understands the challenges that are experienced by our clients. The TBS has appointed additional 12 bus drivers. They will start working on the normal shift from 2 June 2015,” he said.

– Caxton News Service