The effectiveness of transformation programs of subsidised public transport in KwaZulu-Natal
Transformation of Subsidised Public Transport Program is an initiative of the provincial department of transport of KwaZulu Natal. The department embarked on the process of economic transformation of subsidised public transport with the aim of increasing meaningful Black (African Black) participation, at all levels, of the transport sector. In the long run, the department hopes that this intervention will address issues of inequality, unemployment and representative transport sector in the province. It is against this background that this study sets out to examine the effectiveness of this program in achieving the agenda of transformation. A qualitative research method was adopted for this study to gain insights into the lived experiences of the incumbent big bus operators, beneficiaries, political commentators and consultants – who were part of the public transport program. The results reveal that transformation within subsidised public transport is welcomed and essential for economic growth and social cohesion. However, the problem is that the implementation process is still lacking. Critical to note, is that the program is a thorny issue where the majoring of bus subsidy contracts are still in the hands of Indian owned businesses, hence the push for radical transformation in the next phase of implementation. Also, the beneficiaries are often those with political connections who have amassed wealth through patronage.