28 July 2012

Zambia: Leave Public Bus Colours Alone


Ndola — ALLOW me to pass comments on Government's plans to phase out blue and white colours on all public service buses.

What is wrong with the current colours, blue and white? Has Government done a Cost Benefit Analysis [CBA]?

If so, what benefits are associated with this plan?

There are rumours that the current blue and white colours are associated with the former ruling party MMD.

If this is the main reason behind this coming change, then it is not in good faith.

The last colour Government would think of is green. People would jump into conclusion that the change is politically motivated.

The trend would be that every new government that assume power change the colour of public service vehicles.

In my view, this will be a very expensive and inconveniencing exercise to bus operators.

Let us take for instance, a bus operator who owns 15 Rosa minibuses. Each Bus would cost K6m [Worst case scenario] to be painted.

The operator would spend a total of K90m. This cost would take quite a number of months to be realised as net profit.

Operators could use this money to reinvest in their businesses. Some foreign investors do not even have this kind of money and end up running chicken runs in existing buildings.

This cost is quite a huge inconvenience and unnecessary expenditure on the part of the operator.

They are still pondering on how they will run business with the newly adjusted minimum wage, and then another inconvenience comes up.

Unless Government will foot all the expenses incurred by bus operator will this exercise be fair.

I therefore advise government to concentrate their efforts, energy and resources on more pressing issues.

We have challenges of unemployment, expensive tertiary education, housing unit deficit, poor health service delivery, poor roads, poverty, corruption in the public sector, etc.

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