Buscor: World-class transport service

By on September 3, 2014

What is Buscor’s motto and how does the company go about ensuring it is running in line with that motto?

We don’t strive to be the biggest, but the best.

Buscor shares the vision of the Department of Transport namely to have a world class transport system for the Mpumalanga Province, planned with the community, industry, and labour which is integrated, reliable, affordable, and safe

What are Buscor’s key corporate values and goals?

Buscor CARES.

As a responsible operator, Buscor works together with the Department as well as all the relevant stakeholders to achieve the said goals. With more than 160 000 passengers transported daily, we go to great lengths in ensuring that we offer the best possible service to our commuters. Our motto is clear – Passenger safety is our passion. Buscor is totally committed to provide safe, reliable, and affordable transportation to the community we serve.

Monthly interim contract meetings are held to ensure that both parties adhere to the set standards and contractual agreements.How does Buscor work together with the Department of Transport and its stakeholders to achieve those goals?

Operational statistics are submitted to the Department of Transport on a monthly basis to ensure that services are rendered economically, passenger needs are fulfilled, and to indicate an increase or decrease in either passengers or kilometres.

A punctual and efficiently scheduled transport service plays a major role the in economic efficiency of any region. How does Buscor contribute to this ideal in the areas in which it operates?

Our operational staff must, on a weekly basis, scrutinise the BUS 006 report which indicates all of the trips which are scheduled. The actual versus the scheduled departure times are indicated and if there are variances, they need to follow up and rectify the problems where necessary.

This ensures that buses are departing (and arriving) at the specific point as scheduled and also indicate passenger numbers to ensure the effectiveness and economic viability of each bus or trip.

How does Buscor identify, recruit, and retain top talent?

Buscor focuses time and energy on recruiting top talent and also gives opportunities to those in the province.

Buscor’s Human Resources department points out that recruiting provides several opportunities to make the team stronger, keep it the same, or make it weaker. We ensure that you recruit to make the team stronger.

Once the individual is recruited, the challenge and opportunity lies in engaging that talent in ways that will maximize their contribution. Making excellent employees Buscor includes a high level of communication and a focus on people, their learning, and development to help them move forward. Buscor has a training division which has a sole purpose of assisting with training. Specialised training needs analysis takes place with every employee on a yearly basis.

To retain talent Buscor “motivates, recognises, and retains talented people within strong and positive cultures”. Our business is so diverse that we have sub-cultures, but our vision and values bind us across the company.  Commitment runs both ways and Buscor has five core values: Service, teamwork, responsibility, diversity, and integrity.

What initiatives are in place to ensure the development of a versatile, skilled, and committed staff at Buscor?

Proper career and skills development planning is in place as employee training has always been a priority in the company. An average of between 600 to 800 students pass through Buscor Development Training every year. Almost all technical training of staff is undertaken by the company itself.

All new driver conductors are screened before appointment and even though they meet all the statutory requirements, they are put through a 12 week training programme before deployment. All drivers are required to do yearly medical check-ups and two weeks retraining to ensure the best and safest service to our passengers.

What social responsibility programmes is Buscor involved in?

Buscor is not only concerned about the upliftment of its own employees, but also the communities it serves and we are proud of the on-going projects geared towards this upliftment.

In order to give the required attention to this most important aspect, Buscor Development was established specifically for this purpose. An amount of R5 million is channelled through Buscor Development for various projects each year.

Herewith a summary of some of the projects Buscor Development is proud of and involved in:

  • Buscor donated R6 000 000 towards building a new school in the Driekoppies, Malelane area. On 29 November 2002, the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, officially opened the school and handed it over to the Department of Education.

 

  • Commitment to capacitate Buscor training which is part of Buscor Development to offer learnership training as well as skills development training which benefits the community.

 

  • Early Childhood project – Buscor Development is committed by playing a major role in the community it serves. To achieve this all resources available are put to work. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) project started in 2004 when it was officially opened by the MEC of Education Craig Padayachee. Buscor firmly believe in assisting those less fortunate and ensuring that they receive the necessary education.

Therefore this project is a unique concept comprising a Quantum Sprinter which was converted as a Learning Safari vehicle, managed by two ECD facilitators. Informal pre-schools and disadvantaged children are identified in the communities and the ECD facilitators are committed to ensuring that young, underprivileged children experience quality care and proper education. The ECD project also provides the platform where the children can receive first-hand experience with educational toys and learning materials.

The facilitators also offer workshops and programmes to the practitioners aimed at enhancing them so that they are geared up to encourage and inspire their learners and educate them according to standard requirements to further their futures.

The two facilitators visit an average of 38 schools and reach about 1 050 children per month.
The initial cost to start the project amounted to R320 000.

Buscor Development contributes R460 000 per annum towards this project.

 

  • The Siyaphila Old Age Centre is situated in the Msogwaba township that forms part of the Mbombela Municipality and was built at a cost of R1 million.

The Centre accommodates ± 70 pensioners on a daily basis, many of which still support their children and grandchildren.

Buscor Development’s main mission is to empower the elderly by teaching them life skills which they can use to enrich their lives. The objective is to enhance communication and group activities amongst the elderly and to broaden their vision and knowledge by organising social activities and educational trips. Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) training, which is offered daily, establishes self-empowerment and senior citizens are also provided with a service centre where they can receive care and assistance.

The following programmes are offered at the Centre:

Carpentry / cabinet making
Sewing / knitting
Basket weaving
Beadwork
Reed mat work

The elderly receive a wholesome meal at the Centre and can attend clinic services, capacity building, daily exercising and product training.

Buscor Development contributes R600 000 per annum towards managing the Centre.Buscor Development manages five feeding projects namely:

Siyaphila Feeding project
Mahushu Feeding project
Mattafin Feeding project
Mpumalanga Christian Network Feeding project
Betesda Feeding SchemeBuscor Development contributes towards purchasing food and gas for the following projects.
Phaphamani Home Base Care Centre
Thembelishe Home Based Care

The above projects feed approximately 1 200 children per day, which adds up to 36 000 meals per month.

Buscor Development sponsors bus tickets to various registered disabled centres. This enables the members to travel back and forth to town.

Due to the fact that most bus companies do not have long-term contracts, financial planning, and capital purchases need to be considered very carefully.What do the next 12 months hold for Buscor?

Companies therefore have to take huge financial risks to stay abreast of times as well as to keep our vehicles as new and safe as possible. We have a strict bus replacement programme which is followed as far as possible. Passenger safety is of utmost importance, hence the reason why we purchase vehicles with the best safety features available. Standardisation of vehicles is done to minimize cost such as stock and repairs.

Under present circumstances with ever increasing costs, bus companies such as Buscor need to operate services as professional and economical as possible to ensure sustainability and a safe reliable transport to our passengers. This will ensure growth and an increase in revenue.

This year, we will introduce another 12 Bi-Articulated buses to bring the total to 22. These vehicles convey 138 passengers in the comfort of their own seats and will be utilised on longer distance routes approved by the Department of Transport. Reasoning behind these vehicles is that more passengers can sit per vehicle with less traffic congestion on the roads.

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