Greetings to you all our most valuable stakeholders. It is once again that time of the year when all of us seem to be surprised that it is almost the end of yet another year, yet on a daily basis we experience the speedy passing of time whilst we are busy with different activities relevant to our various responsibilities. Yes, indeed in less than 30 days we will bid the year 2018 goodbye and we believe that by the same Grace of God that carried us through 2018, we will be spared to usher in the brand new year of 2019.
The new-year will be yet another opportunity for us as a company to continue transporting our valuable commuter community with dedication, excellence and most importantly ensuring their safety and comfort as they travel to various destinations. It will once again be an opportunity to take our valuable commuter community and other stakeholders closer to their dreams and we will be an enabler to the achievement of their travelling goals, be it commuting to work, health facilities, institutions of higher learning, schools, religious excursions, educational tours or local and long distance tour trips. As a company we have succeeded in doing that during the current year and of course that was only possible because we worked closely and in partnership with our valuable stakeholders placing the needs of our customers first. We can assure our loyal customers that we are ready and able to do that in 2019 and to that effect we continually assess areas that needs improvement. We have also embarked on inviting key stakeholders to our company premises to have frank and open constructive information sharing sessions and having noted their valuable inputs regarding our services, we will use that to inform our continuous improvement initiatives.
We believe that in order to deliver the aspired great customer experience, we have to continue our investment in replacing our older fleet of buses with new ones and to that effect during the current financial year we will invest in the region of R32 million. On the other hand the replacement of buses is not the only ingredient in ensuring safety of our commuters and to that effect we will be investing a lot in our personnel’s soft skills courses such as Emotional Intelligence and Customer Service amongst many capacity building initiatives in the company so as to improve on the travelling experience of our valuable customers.
Furthermore we are aware that some amongst our customers and especially those utilising our services in the rural Thaba Nchu North and South or areas known as Trust areas might have a view that we are not doing enough in introducing our newest buses on their routes. The true reality is that whilst the buses that operate on those routes are contract compliant and not of a lesser standard at all, the appalling conditions of roads in those areas are not conducive at all for the type of buses that are built for a different type of operating conditions. We have tasked our research and development (R&D) team to work closely with our key suppliers to find an appropriate vehicle that can withstand the rough conditions of this part of our operational area and we assure our customers that once we have the solution and the economic conditions allow, we will invest in replacement vehicles fit for those conditions. In the interim we invest immensely in ensuring the necessary maintenance and refurbishment of vehicles operating in those areas so as to ensure that we maintain our high standard of safety and quality of service that we are proud of.
In the same breath our standing around the safety standards that our company is committed to, is independently assured by being audited and accredited by RTMS. As we value and prioritise the safety of our commuters and other road users, we are committed to making sure that as a company we support and assist Government in attaining one of its strategic imperatives of road safety related to heavy motor vehicles. We have once again embarked on a rigorous quality assurance audit process finalised by the Road Traffic Management System (RTMS). The RTMS is an industry-led, government-supported, voluntary self- regulatory scheme that amongst others encourages compliance with Road Traffic Regulations. The RTMS enables a company to claim excellence in the management of its road transport operation, (www.rtms-sa.org). We are excited to announce that we have again recently received the Accreditation Certificate and this is evidence to our commitment to ensure safety for our key stakeholders, in particular our valuable commuters, employees and our employer, the Department of Police, Roads and Transport in the Free State as well as the National Department of Transport. To highlight a just a few of the areas that we were audited on by the external RTMS appointed auditor, focus was on;
- Fleet inventory.
- Assessment and verification of overloading.
- Maintenance and Roadworthy Vehicles.
- Vehicle and Passenger Safety.
- Driver Wellness.
- Training and Education.
We are proud to confirm that the audit outcome qualified our company to receive the highly valued accreditation certificate and we look forward to attaining the same positive outcomes in future.
As we are moving towards the end of the year, looking back and reflecting on our Seed of Hope Corporate Social Investment (CSI) journey, leaves us with great pride and fulfilment knowing that we have planted a seed of hope in many young people to position them closer to a better life tomorrow. During the current year we have invested just over R1.6 million in Educational development initiatives like Monyetla Project and CUT Saturday School Project and in January we will once again sponsor the Free State Department of Education Well Done Function where the top 100 matriculants will be honoured. On the other hand we have recently celebrated yet another successful year of sports development where hundreds of passionate soccer players were honoured during the SAFA Mangaung IBL Soccer League Awards Ceremony held at Bram Fischer building. The IBL Soccer League is targeting township based soccer players and over the number of years that we have invested in them, we are proud to say a number of them are now playing overseas and also in the local first division and premier league clubs. Through this project we have to a great extent diverted a lot of young people from drugs, gangs and other social ills that could have destroyed their lives.
It is our wish that you will enjoy the content of this publication and kindly feel free to share a copy with others who use our services and have an interest in knowing what we do and how we experience and plan to resolve the challenges facing us. As we conclude, I wish to express our sincere gratitude for the great and valuable support that all our stakeholders has given our company during 2018 and it is our management and personnel’s prayer and wish that 2019 be the most fruitful and prosperous year for you, your institution and your families. We value your support and we commit to working together with you towards attainment of your goals in 2019. As a company we support Road Safety and the Arrive Alive Campaign and to that effect we urge you to be vigilant and travel safely during the coming festive season as you and your families will be on the roads.
A serious plea to our valuable community:
Please DO NOT SPEED, DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE, DO NOT WALK AND TEXT, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL AND DRIVE, DO NOT ANSWER YOUR CELLPHONE WHILST DRIVING AND REST FREQUENTLY in order to ARRIVE ALIVE. Wishing you a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Chief Executive Officer