About us2024-03-11T13:22:27+02:00


Our history

Interstate Bus Lines was founded on 28 April 1975 by Mr Abel Erasmus and Mr Fred Kinnear. As employees of the Bantu Investment Corporation (BIC), it was the duty of these two gentlemen to investigate the feasibility of bus services in the mid-seventies.

Economic conditions were bad and the project was officially shelved, but not for Mr Erasmus and Mr Kinnear. They decided to carry on with the project. The next two years were very tough due to the rigorously applied permit system.

The railways and the BIC opposed them every time they applied for a Thaba ‘Nchu / Bloemfontein permit. In 1975 they managed to get a foot in the door with a partner, the late Dr James Moroka.

The three partners took over a small bus company, previously owned by the late Jacob Mokgethi. This small bus company operated four buses in the hinterland of Thaba ‘Nchu on routes allocated to it. In 1976 Mr Erasmus and Mr Kinnear finally managed to obtain permission to operate the route they wanted.

The company was first known as Thaba ‘Nchu Transport. Later it was known as Jakaranda (after the Pretoria-based printers of the bus tickets whose name appeared on the back of the tickets). The name, Interstate, was later chosen because services expanded and the company began to operate between provinces.

Bus services, offering more comfort than trains, were needed everywhere and as a result the company grew rapidly. From its inception in 1975, Interstate has grown into a transport giant with as many as 600 buses countrywide at one stage.

Interstate provided people with an alternative to rigidly-scheduled rail transport. Towards the end of the eighties, when the taxi revolution gained momentum, the two entrepreneurs decided to split their operations. Kinnear took on a new challenge by partnering up with the late Joseph Matsebula in Nelspruit.

They laid the foundations for the Buscor Group, serving the Mpumalanga Province. A company which started humbly with four buses only, is today known as Interstate Bus Lines and Buscor.

Ownership and control

In 1975 the company was established as a family-owned business and has undergone a variety of transformations over the years. The latest was in 2006 when Broad Based Black Economically Empowered (BBBEE) groupings bought a stake in the company. In 2006, Abel Erasmus was bought out by means of a Management Buy-out and at the same time, the BBT Taxi Trust as a Shareholder came into existence. A historically white owned company changed on this date to a 60% plus black owned company. In 2016 the company further concluded a historic deal when Imperial procured a controlling stake in the company. This was in line with the company’s strategic intent to pursue growth opportunities nationally and across the borders of South Africa. Since 2016 management and board control was at 50/50 representation. Currently the Board of Directors reflect the national demographics.

The transaction further positioned the company to yield economic benefits for its Broad-Based Black Economically Empowered shareholders. As the company grows, so will the economic stake of the BBBEE groupings. Imperial Logistics South Africa, with its impeccable operational record (with emphasis on safety, reliability and genuine economic empowerment), was seen as a good fit-for- purpose investor which positioned the company for the next level of operations. Since its inception the company has always believed in an inclusive approach when it comes to decision making. Thus, management control and inclusivity of historically excluded groups in the company’s management structure, is not a mere compliance, Employment Equity or BEE gesture. In 2022, Imperial Logistics sold all its South African operations to DP World – a company registered in Dubai. The current shareholders obtained financing to buyout Imperial in order to avoid a transport crisis.

The current shareholders in IBL are:
Black shareholding is currently on 66.29% of which 8.7% is owned by black women – AQRate.

Procurement and Black Economic Empowerment

Our BEE road-map gives a clear indication that we will achieve a competitive recognition level under the new codes. We achieved a level 3 status in 2023.

Our strategy in terms of the revised codes include the following key objectives:

We regard the new codes as the next phase in our transformation journey and we will continue to pursue and enhance all facets of empowerment – regardless of the BEE measurements. We believe that the process of economic transformation must continue rapidly in order to bring the majority of black South Africans into the mainstream economy.

We also believe in providing employment by giving meaningful economic participation and in the opportunity to share increasingly in the wealth creation resulting from economic activities. We will therefore continue to accelerate transformation in an effort to not just raise the bar in meeting targets and achieving recognition in terms of the revised codes, but to entrench transformation within our organisational culture, enhance our commitment as a corporate citizen, and continue to lead the industry as a truly South African business.

Our vision and values


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