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CT Dial-a-Ride users demand more for people with disabilities

Eyewitness News logo Eyewitness News 2019-04-25 Lizell Persens
a bicycle parked on the side of a building ©

CAPE TOWN - About 40 disgruntled users of the Dial-a-Ride service for people with disabilities marched to Cape Town's Civic Centre on Thursday demanding more buses and better services.

Protesters said the City of Cape Town had failed the physically challenged community of the Western Cape, as the service only has 24 operational buses transporting nine people per bus.

Their list of grievances also included the long waiting period for clients to be part of the service, drivers who were late and a lack of communication.

Forty people - some in wheelchairs and using walking sticks and crutches - and a guide dog, marched to the Civic Centre where they handed over a memorandum.

The Dial-A-Ride User Forum's Eullah Makatala said: “We have broken buses so our lives are at risk. We are going to die in our buses. Each and every day, the steering wheel is broken or the brakes are off. Why is the city not looking after us?”

Transport and urban development mayoral committee member Felicity Purchase was there to receive their memorandum.

“We understand their frustration because you can’t help yourself when you’re disabled. So we need to be able to improve the service, but we don’t have the financial ability to improve it now. Everything is subject to the outcome of the court case.”

The current service provider for Dial-a-Ride, HG Travelling Services, approached the Western Cape High Court to set aside the awarding of the tender to a new service provider.

The court granted HG Travelling Services an interdict that prevented the city from going ahead with the awarding of the Dial-a-Ride operating contract to a new service provider until the case has been finalised in court.

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