Gopolang Moloko
1 minute read
19 Apr 2018
10:45 am

Bus strike expected to intensify as commuters are left stranded

Gopolang Moloko

The national bus strike continues into its second day as negotiations continue.

Commuters que next to Jabulani Mall in Soweto after bus drivers went on strike, 18 April 2018. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The national bus strike is expected to intensify on Thursday while negotiations between the unions and employers continue.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the Tirisano Transport Workers Union are seated in talks with the bus management to discuss the way forward.

The bus strike continues into its second day after bus drivers downed tools on Wednesday demanding a 12% wage hike, while employers offer 7%.

The CCMA has been roped in to mediate to ensure a much-needed resolution.

Unions are demanding a minimum basic wage of R8 000 as opposed to the current R6 000.

Bus drivers are demanding full pay for dual drivers travelling long distances and a nightshift roster from 4pm to 6am, as opposed to the current one, which stands at 8pm to 3am.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has urged parties to urgently find a negotiated settlement.

Bus commuters across the country have been severely affected and forced to dig deeper into their pockets for taxi fare.

Snaking queues can be seen in areas such as Cape Town taxi ranks and Bara taxi rank in Soweto, meaning bus commuters will be forced to pay more to reach their destinations.

Various bus and train companies are reported to have halted operations.

These include: Megabus, Gautrain, Greyhound, Golden Arrow, MyCiti Bus in Cape Town, Rea Vaya in Johannesburg, Buscor in Mpumalanga, Bojanala in North West, Algoa Bus in Port Elizabeth, Mayibuye in East London, Go George in George, Areyeng in Tshwane, Mgqibelo in Sedibeng, Lowveld Bus Company in Limpopo, PAL Bus in Mpumalanga, and Mphakathi in Mpumalanga, among others.