Putco set to lay off 214 staff members due to financial distress

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the bus service said this came as a result of scaled-down operations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decline in passenger numbers.

FILE: Putco buses outside the Sandton Testing Station. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewintess News.

CAPE TOWN - Bus company Putco is set to retrench 214 staff members as a result of financial distress.

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the bus service said this came as a result of scaled-down operations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decline in passenger numbers.

Additional costs for buying personal protective equipment and disinfecting busses after each trip added to the financial burden.

Managers say they'd met with government as well as the Southern African Bus Operators Association since March last year to request financial relief but had been unsuccessful in their efforts.

Putco spokesperson Pride Anozie said: “We ended up losing quite a few passengers and as a company, we need to align our expenditure with our reduced income. It is not something we are happy with, but unfortunately, for the sustainability of the company, that is the process we have to undergo.”

The move comes after bus company Greyhound/Citiliner announced on Wednesday that it would also be shutting down after operating for 40 years. The bus service's last trip will be on 14 February.

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