National bus strike continues

bus generic. INLSA

A countrywide bus drivers’ wage strike was expected to continue on Monday after bus companies and unions failed to come to an agreement on Friday.

“We are expecting disruptions and we encourage commuters to make alternative arrangements,” eThekwini Municipality spokesman, Thabo Mofokeng, said on Sunday.

He said in Durban, it was only the drivers of the city’s People Mover buses who were participating in the strike, and commuters could still use Durban Transport buses that would operate as normal.

Mofokeng said the strike would also not affect Muvo card holders.

The Muvo card, the city’s first large-scale cashless transit tariff system, is part of the first phase of the municipality’s planned Integrated Rapid Public Transport plan.

Thousands of commuters across the country had to make alternative transport arrangements on Friday, the first day of the strike, with passengers in places such as Wynberg in Cape Town being the worst affected. Passengers had to wait in long queues at taxi ranks.

Golden Arrows Bus Services spokeswoman, Bronwen Dyke, said on Sunday that they would not have buses running on Monday and that passengers would be able to use their bus tickets to get on to Metrorail trains.

The Daily News established on Sunday that other companies in KwaZulu-Natal expected to be affected by the strike were Olympic Bus Lines, KZT Bus Services and South Coast Bus Services.

Operate

They operate in areas where Durban Transport does not run, which includes KwaNdengezi, St Wendolins, Klaarwater, Inanda, Clermont and Hammarsdale.

The South African Transport And Allied Workers Union (Satawu), whose 18 000 members are on strike, confirmed on Sunday night that the strike action would continue on Monday.

Union spokesman, Vincent Masoga, said workers wanted an 18 percent wage increase

while bus companies were offering a 6.5 percent increase.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) intervened after negotiations reached a deadlock and proposed a 9 percent raise as a compromise.

Masoga said Satawu was willing to review its demand for an 18 percent increase, and would consult with members on the CCMA proposal.

He said Satawu bus employees earned between R1 800 and R6 000 a month.

“Those who work under labour brokers earn R1 800 while the highest earners get about R6 000.”

KZN Metro Rail spokeswoman, Thandi Mkhize, said extra security was put in place at train stations to ensure commuters did not overcrowd the trains.

“We have to put these measures in place because trains stop at every station even when they are full, and security has been put in place to urge commuters to wait for the next train if the one they had been waiting for pulled up full,” she explained.

Long distance bus operators contacted by the Daily News on Sunday, Intercape, Greyhound and Citiliner, said their buses would be operating on schedule on Monday.

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