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The corporation's spokesman Ashref Ismail said the buses were discontinued in an operation which was conducted in various parts of Tshwane as part of a build up to the Public Transport Month (October).

"On Tuesday and Wednesday, 128 buses belonging to North Star were tested and 44 were seriously defective and discontinued," Ismail said.

Fifty-four more buses belonging to Putco were examined and 24 were discontinued.

The most common defects were worn tyres, defective brakes, faulty steering mechanisms, excessive smoke and oil leaks.

The corporation's acting chief executive officer Collins Letsoalo said it remained extremely worrying that major passenger transport operators continued to convey vulnerable road users in unroadworthy buses.

"It is unacceptable and we will intensify our programme together with all the traffic departments around the country to ensure that we remove all unsafe vehicles," he said.

"We want a safer festive season for our passengers'.

The same operation was expected to be continued in other major cities across the country.

Pupil transport vehicles, commuter buses, tourist shuttles, mini-bus taxis, luxury coaches, cross-border buses and metered taxis would fall among some of the vehicles the operations would prioritise.

Vehicles will be inspected at taxi ranks, bus and train stations, schools, weigh-bridges, toll gates and truck stops.