Acronym formed on Public Utility Transport Corporation.
A large bus company transporting black commuters in the Transvaal provinces and in KwaZulu-Natal. Also attributive.See also green mamba sense (b), mamba sense 2.
1952Drum July 33About ten years ago, the PUTCO bought over the Alexandra bus route...A month ago..a well-known transport man..sold his business to PUTCO, which runs some 27 routes on the Reef and in Pretoria.
1963B. ModisaneBlame Me on Hist. (1986) 18Our repertoire included games like..stealing rides on horse-drawn trolleys, getting on and off whilst in motion, and the more proficient we became the more ambitious we got, graduating to the green Putco buses.
1977P.C. VenterSoweto 46They were playing a new game called ‘Soweto, Soweto’. ‘How do you play that?’ Moses asked. ‘Easy,’ came the reply, ‘Sissy is a PUTCO bus and I’m setting her on fire’.
1978S. Afr. Panorama Mar. 41Putco conveys 96000 commuters a day into Johannesburg from Soweto, Alexandra and Tembisa, while its suburban service inside Soweto carries 27000 Blacks a day at 10c a trip. Putco conveys another 70000 daily commuters into Springs and Boksburg from KwaThema and Vosloorus, and 13000 more into Pretoria from Atteridgeville and Mamelodi on its outskirts.
1979A.P. BrinkDry White Season 41In the streets the charred skeletons of Putco buses.
1984Frontline Mar. 12No matter how much Putco, or its Cape Town equivalent City Tramways, protest, many of their passengers view them as an extension of government, making substantial profits not least from the effects of the Group Areas Act.
1990SashVol.33No.1, 32Until recently, bus companies mainly served racially defined groups: Public Utility Transport Corporation (Putco) buses carried Africans and ‘coloureds’.
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