No one can refute the fact that the year 2020 was the most challenging year for all of us and the majority of people around the world due to the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic. For many people, for the first time in many years, we experienced a year that brought tragedy and left deep emotional scars, that will take a very long time to heal and to forget, due to loss of loved ones, support systems, jobs and livelihoods. I however wish to echo the following quote that says “Even after the worst storms, the sun will shine again.” By so saying I mean, even if the ravaging storm has hit us hard enough to make us lose so much, we must never lose hope and faith in that no matter how long it takes, the sun will shine again and life must go on.
That being said, I am grateful and humbled, that we are still blessed to have a company to run and the valuable community of our loyal commuters to serve. I can assure you that even if we lost a lot of our valuable colleagues through the Section 189 retrenchment process as a result of the aftermath of lock-down, all Interstaters are 100% committed to do their utmost best to serve our commuters and the entire community with diligence.
In order to reflect on the aforesaid commitment, we wish to commend our Scheduling Team for an excellent job done during uncertain times, as they worked around the clock to ensure our customer’s needs are met. In the same breath we thank our Operations Team for continuously living our company value of FLEXIBILITY to adapt to ongoing changes in schedules as that ensured QUALITY service to our valuable customers.
We also look back with gratitude to our customers who have stayed, travelled and trusted us during the past lock-down season and continue to trust us during this period of the new normal.
As a company we come out of the pandemic period a lot “slimmer” in terms of the number of daily commuters, employees and bus fleet and that translates to serious financial losses.
We however continue to invest in the replacement of older buses in an effort to maintain not only our safety standards but to also ensure that our commuters and government receives value for money.
We are proud to have provided the much-needed relief for our commuters by delaying our fare increases that was supposed to be effected on 1 July 2020, to a later date. We appreciate that government and our passenger forums supported us and our commuters appreciated the temporary relief.
Be that as it may, we will in due course announce the new date and percentage of fare increases, as we must continue to act responsibly to avoid adverse impact on the sustainability of our company, which could in the long term have adverse impact on our commuters.
As we are already in the “end-of-year-season” and fast approaching Christmas and New Year’s day, may I take this opportunity to firstly wish our matric learners good luck with their end-of-year exams, as well as a word of encouragement to our scholar community in other grades and their educators as they had to endure a lot of pressure to finish the syllabus.
On behalf of the Directors, Management and the employees of Interstate Bus Lines, we wish all of you a Merry and Joyful Christmas season and pray that the New Year will be blessed and less strenuous than the current year. We appeal to all who would be on the roads to various destinations to drive carefully, travel safely and observe rules of the road and health protocols at all times.
We look forward to being your reliable travel partner in 2021 be it in your daily commuting or special hire services to various tourist and event destinations. Furthermore, a big thank you to our provincial and national government for entrusting us with the responsibility of delivering transport services to our community and THANK YOU to our suppliers for being such reliable partners in our service delivery journey.
A BIG THANK YOU to our commuters and the entire community that we serve on a daily basis. May our Almighty God bless you abundantly and keep you safe until by the grace of God we meet again.
Chief Executive Officer