Just as Bus drivers have a big responsibility in ensuring that passengers arrive to their destinations safely, their role is mostly assisted by Marshalls or Operators placed at various Bus Stations. Both Mpho Mokoena and Hamilton Kanapi are highly skilled Station Marshalls based at the Thokoza Park BRT station.
Their role entails liaising between the bus and the main office; ensuring that equipment needed at the Bus Station is up-to-date and in good working condition; Reporting any irregularities and incidences to the main office.
They describe themselves as passionate and committed to serving commuters and that they adhere to all safety precaution to ensure commuters are safe. “I know we make it look easy, but my job is on the line should any of these passengers be harmed or exposed to danger at any given point” says Mpho Mokoena. “We do routine checks on ramps, fire extinguishers, first aid kits etc. and are a direct line of control for any emergencies” adds Hamilton Kanapi.
Just a few minutes before our interview started, they were both attending to a passenger who had an asthma attack right there at the Bus station, while waiting for the next Bus to connect to his final destination which is home.
They say they are happy with the kind of training they receive as Marshalls as it equips them with 1st aid classes and how to deal with difficult commuters.
One thing they would like to see improved to see their work easier is for the City to find ways to make tagging systems impermeable as some commuters find loopholes and end up defrauding the system. Both agree that more Bus stations need to be built so traffic and congestion at some stations is lessened.