Need to find out if construction workers will be at risk if they are transported by a bus company (who received remuneration) to transport them to and from work daily. The individual busses are in possession of transport permits to operate within the boundaries of Gauteng but operate under a contract (with the principal contractor) in the Mpumalanga region. My concern will thus be that if an accident occur will these people be covered under the COID Act or will they be covered under the Road Accident Fund? Is it possible to make use of public transport outside it's jurisdiction? Is there a possibility that the Client can be at risk? The following information is not available; Public Passenger Liability Insurance. The condition under which some of the busses must operate are: "Trips must be between points situated within the province of Gauteng to points with a common destination within the boundaries of the Republic of SA and vice-versa". The other busses got fixed routes within Gauteng.
I've established a meeting with the License Board of Mpumalanga where the contractor was told to submit certain documentation to become a temporary transport permit with fix routes for the duration of the project. However, it seems the bus owners have reason to believe this ordeal is unnecessary and the principal contractor stick with their decision.
Welcome, and thank you for your question.Both Acts will be applicable. The RAF Act is applicable whenever an accident involving a motor vehicle on a public road occurs. The COID Act will be applicable as injuries sustained while traveling to and from work in transport provided by the employer will count as an injury on duty.If the employer is properly registered in terms of COIDA, there should be no liability on the part of the employer.I trust you find the above in order.Yours faithfully,
I'm grateful at your response. I just want to make sure I'm not allowing for any legal complications at a later stage. Will it be justifiable for me to say I can allow these busses to continue although it's outside their jurisdiction?
Yes, you should be safe. The courts have long held that just because a bus/taxi operator in unlicensed, does not preclude a passenger who was injured from claiming from the RAF. It seems to me that the onus is on the bus operators to have their operations legitimised, otherwise they might find themselves being taken off the road by the relevant authorities. This might affect you indirectly as it may result in the transport of your workers being interrupted.Yours faithfully,
B.Comm; LL.B; LL.M.
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