SPTC recruits foreign drivers | 22 August 2019
The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation has been making news headlines recently following the announcement of the World Bank reform mission’s findings and proposals, and bus accidents at La Louise and Anse Boileau, among others.
Recently, the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) has been the talk of the town as commuters and bus drivers voice their concerns over the company’s decision to recruit foreign workers as bus drivers to provide public transportation services to the approximately 55,000 commuters daily, on Mahé and Praslin where it operates services.
At present, a pool of Malagasy individuals are undergoing training and are expected to join the pool of Seychellois drivers in the near future if they are successful on their training programmes. However, there are many concerns as to what implications the decision will have on SPTC’s operations, especially in relation to the extra costs that SPTC has to incur in the form of Gainful Occupation Permits (GOP) which allows holders to be gainfully occupied in Seychelles, among other costs associated with expatriate workers including accommodation.
Many have questioned the decision in relation to the World Bank’s finding which highlighted the need to improve operational efficiency and efficacy and to strengthen the structure of SPTC, including its capacity and processes, on account of continual financial and operational losses which often result in SPTC relying on the government for revenue grants.
Furthermore, some have expressed their discontentment on social media platform Facebook, suggesting that instead of incurring extra costs to recruit foreign workers, SPTC should review their rewards and remuneration to local drivers in a bid to motivate them and attract potential employees.
Among other concerns are the differences in driving between Madagascar, where they drive on the right and overtake on the left, and Seychelles where driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
According to deputy chief executive of SPTC, Maxwell Julie, SPTC is mindful of the concerns raised by members of the public and employees but it is imperative that the entity increases its pool of drivers if it is to improve efficiency and efficacy in its operations.
“The drivers are currently undergoing training and will be on training for a while until SPTC is satisfied that they have adapted well to the job. The issue we face with local drivers are plenty including high absenteeism, turnover and other disciplinary problems among others but SPTC needs to keep trying to improve its operations and to find solutions to the issues it is faced with,” said Mr Julie.
Seychelles NATION was not successful in its attempts to gather more information about the company’s decision.
SPTC is the only public service transportation provider in Seychelles.