District meetings |23 May 2023
SPTC to implement fully cashless bus service effective July, says President Ramkalawan
The government has announced that the Seychelles Public Transport Company will implement a fully cashless bus service in the country effective July this year.
President Wavel Ramkalawan made the announcement yesterday during the seventh public meeting in the country, which took place in Grand Anse Mahé.
When answering a question related to bus fares and how to make it more affordable after 7pm for those who are in possession of a bus card, instead of a flat R15 for all passengers, the head of state said the issue of bus fares was being addressed by the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) and all passengers will be using bus cards as from July.
Yesterday’s meeting also brought forth the issue of business development in the district, with a resident querying about availability of spaces near the school and seaside area, for small businesses.
Elected member for the district, Hon. Waven William, informed the meeting that there was a development plan and a committee had already been set up to address the matter.
However, he said there were other entities who were linked to the place, namely the education and sports departments.
Mr William said the development committee has already presented a skeletal plan and is seeking help from the Ministry of Lands and Housing to hire an engineer for the project.
“Until it is clear as to which entity will be doing what, for example the National Sports Council (NSC) and education, in terms of boundary, then we cannot go ahead with anything. It should be noted that the impact of climate change may be an issue for the area as well as it is predicted that the high water mark will eventually reach where the court is located nowadays, so we have to take all that into account when developing the area,” explained Mr William.
Yesterday’s meeting also addressed the issue of green energy in reference to a question on the existing levy for the importation of cars for car hire services, deemed expensive and prompting a call for it to be revised.
When addressing the matter, the minister responsible for finance, Naadir Hassan, said the government was working on a new policy to incentivise people investing in ‘green cars’ such as hybrid and electrical cars to reduce the country’s dependence on fuel.
Minister Hassan said Seychelles was party to all the signatories promoting green energy and would eventually have to migrate to energy-efficient equipment including vehicles and stop being over-reliant on fossil fuel.
With regard to housing, the government said the construction of 80 units in the district, which will be fully funded by Abu Dhabi, will start soon. This will be part of the Orchid phases 2 and 3 project. The president said the project’s consultant has already been appointed and the two villages will be built together.
The minister responsible for housing, Billy Rangasamy, said since they have combined the two projects, they were now finalising the design.
“We are aware that a lot of people are waiting and those who are doing their payments and are being responsible, will be considered for allocation. I therefore appeal to all of you to pay your contributions and show you are doing your part and the government will do its part,” explained Minister Rangasamy.
With regard to Falcon Insurance, which had its license suspended last year pending an investigation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the president called on the authority to complete the investigation by June this year and to come out with a statement for the clients.
He was responding to a query as to the lack of information regarding the investigation, poor service delivery and customers who have been left in limbo for months.
Finance Minister Hassan said service delivery was a matter of concern at FSA and this will be taken up at the authority’s next strategic meeting.
Other issues raised at yesterday’s meeting were security, lack of discipline in school, road work, health service, renovation of government housing, bus service, proposal to improve public service by introducing rating, as well as employment of foreigners.