Johannesburg - Commuters were advised to find alternative transport on Monday because of the Rea Vaya bus drivers' strike, the Gauteng community safety department said.
“We urge passengers to utilise alternative transport (such as) lift clubs, metro rail, taxis and other bus companies or make alternative arrangements until further notice,” spokesman Obed Sibasa said.
Commuters should arrive early at bus stops and taxi ranks to make sure they made it early for work or other appointments.
“The Gauteng traffic police and other law enforcement agencies are on high alert and monitoring all bus rapid transit system routes and stations, as well as taxi ranks and routes to guard against overloading of passengers by taxi operators,” Sibasa said.
No acts of intimidation or violence had been reported.
Earlier, bus companies which manage the operations of Rea Vaya buses said the buses were not running because of the strike.
“We are still waiting for the union to come back to us, they are meeting their attorneys to review an agreement that was reached last night,” Piotrans spokesman Dumisani Mntambo said.
Bus drivers worked on Monday from 5am but returned the buses at 8.30am, Mntambo said.
Litsamaiso spokesman Babu Maharaj said the company was negotiating with the union.
“We are hoping that some of the issues will be resolved by today,” Maharaj said.
“We believe that the strike is illegal, the issues they are striking for are not issues one would strike for,” he said.
Bus drivers wanted labour brokers to be banned, the code of conduct to be reviewed, senior staff members wanted to be able to choose their shifts, and they wanted the union to be introduced during the induction, Maharaj said.
The issues raised by the union were not serious enough for a strike.
SA Municipal Workers' Union regional chairman Dion Makhura confirmed that the strike was still on.
He could not comment further as he was going into a meeting. - Sapa