Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), working for the City of Tshwane’s Areyeng bus rapid transit (BRT) system, have threatened to embark on a full-blown strike if the metro does not meet their demands for transport allowance.
Numsa members in the Hlanganani region on Friday marched to the offices of Tshwane to demand that the city intervenes in ensuring that workers received transport allowance.
Safe reliable transportation
The workers, from the three agencies responsible for running Tshwane’s Areyeng BRT system, have accused Areyeng management of refusing to provide them with adequate transportation or transport allowance to enable them to go to work.
They accused the employers at the Tshwane Rapid Transit, Tshwane Affected Investment Operation (TAIO) and Xtremetec Management Consulting of not adhering fully to the terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
Jerry Morulane, Numsa’s regional secretary in Hlanganani, said the act explicitly stated that if workers were working awkward hours, the employer had a duty to provide safe reliable transportation.
“Our members are expected to start work at 4 am and knock off after 9 pm.
“There is no safe reliable transport at that time and our members risk their lives trying to get to and from work. At the same time, they spend a fortune of their meager wages on alternative transportation,” Morulane said in a statement on Saturday.
Morulane said Tshwane Rapid Transit was offering workers transport allowance, but it was not enough.
“Since 2014, they have been getting R1100 allowance and it has not been increased. Our members are demanding that it be increased to R2500 because they cannot afford to pay for transport themselves.
“TAIO is not assisting with transport or transport allowance at all. When we try to engage management on this, they claim the City of Tshwane is not giving them enough money to pay for transport allowance.”
Morulane said their members at Xtremetec were currently on strike to demand transport allowance.
“Currently workers receive R600 transport allowance but this is not nearly enough to cover the cost of transportation.
“They are demanding R2500 per month transport allowance and night shift allowance of R60 per hour.”
Tshwane promises to respond
Numsa members handed their demands to Tshwane’s MMC of Roads and Transport Dikeledi Selowa on Friday.
Selowa promised that she would organise a meeting with all the management teams of the three agencies this weekend to see if there was any funding available in the city’s budget to help with transport allowance.
“She also promised to respond in writing to our demands by the deadline of Wednesday the 18th of May. We will be waiting with keen interest for a response from the city to our demands,” Morulane said.
He said if the City of Tshwane failed to respond adequately to their demands, their members from TRT and TAIO instructed Numsa to serve the metro with a 48-hour notice for a secondary strike to join workers at Xtremetec.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe