By Nqobile Tshili/ Kudzai Chikiwa
The revival of the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) has created jobs for more than 1 200 people and more drivers and conductors are set to be hired countrywide starting next month.
Zupco acting chief executive officer, Mr Everisto Madangwa, said the bus company is set to increase its fleet to service more routes countrywide for the convenience of members of the public. Mr Madangwa was speaking on Wednesday in an interview following the launch of Zupco’s e-ticketing system in Bulawayo.
“In Bulawayo we have 72 Zupco moving buses. But we need twice that number. Countrywide we are looking at eventually having 3 000 buses to service everyone. That will be the full capacity of our buses that will cover all areas and all angles of the moving public. That is where we are heading and it’s a process to gradually build our capacity. And we can rest assure everyone that something is happening,” he said.
Mr Madangwa said so far they have 325 buses but more are on the way. He said the revival of the company has also contributed to job creation which is expected to continue once more buses are in the country.
“We are at the moment talking about plus or minus 1 200 people who have been employed since inception.
“We have definitely made a contribution towards employment because the 1 200 people I’m talking about were not employed before but are now on the Zupco workforce,” said Mr Madangwa.
He said the Zupco e-ticketing system is convenient and will eliminate revenue leakages.
The e-ticketing system allows members of the public to pre-pay bus fare and are given a card that is scanned each time they intend to board a bus. “We are trying to eradicate the system where people use cash to pay their bus fares.
This is a situation where you pay your bus fare in advance. We are trying to introduce efficiencies in managing our business. One of the efficiencies that we want to have is to curb revenue pilferage.
So the curbing of revenue pilferage is done through this introduction of this electronic card which is used for collection of revenue,” said Mr Madangwa.
He said the system is now operational in Bulawayo and Harare and is set to be introduced in other provinces throughout the country.
Zupco southern region general manager Mr Tineyi Ruwasoka said the bus company is in the process of perfecting schedules that its buses will use.
Mr Ruwasoka said they are working to effectively service all routes.
Speaking at the launch, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister, Cde Judith Ncube, urged Bulawayo residents to embrace the Zupco tap card e-ticketing system as it reduces hurdles associated with paying transport fares.
“We want to encourage Bulawayo residents who use Zupco buses to utilise this tap card. It makes it easy for them and convenient for the bus crews as well. It has no change problems. Buses have become important for the commuting public and we are pushing that more of them are introduced in Bulawayo. The bus crews provide a hospitable environment for commuters while being affordable as well,” said Cde Ncube.
She said employment figures being projected by Zupco are a good indicator which shows Government’s commitment to job creation and addressing problems affecting the people. Cde Ncube said companies such as Zupco that are creating employment should not import labour while conducting their recruiting exercise.
In a statement yesterday Zupco said it will recruit more bus drivers and conductors from June 24 to July 24 in eight provinces. There will be no recruitment in Bulawayo and Harare provinces.
It said recruitment in Matabeleland North province will take place in Nkayi on July 9 and in Lupane the following day.
Matabeleland South recruitment will be done in Filabusi on July 11 and Maphisa Growth Point on July 12. In Midlands, job seekers should go to Nembudziya Growth point on July 16 and Nhema growth point the following day.
Zupco said those who want to apply to be bus conductors should have at least five Ordinary Level subjects including English, Mathematics and Accounts.
The company said experience in the transport operating industry is an added advantage for bus conductors.
“For bus drivers, one should be a holder of a class one driver’s licence, must have a defensive driving certificate and a valid medical certificate. The person must have excellent customer care skills and must have at least four years’ experience as a bus driver,” reads the statement.
Zupco said applicants can check recruitment dates in respective provinces at the company’s depots in their provinces.
“Candidates to report at the selection centre with original and certified photocopies of national identity cards, birth certificates, educational and professional certificates on dates as advised by provincial contact persons,” reads the statement. The Chronicle