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MPs worried #BusStrike will be exploited by taxi operators

South Africa
Parliament – Parliament's transport portfolio committee on Wednesday warned that the nationwide strike by bus drivers could have dire consequences for those undertaking long distance trips home Easter weekend.

The strike, over salaries and working conditions, started on Wednesday morning.

"The national bus strike is set to inconvenience the country in proportions not witnessed before. A lot of people around this time are commuting by road to be with families. The stakes are high and all assistance, particularly from law enforcement agencies, is required so that the safety of road users is not compromised," said committee chairwoman Dikeledi Magadzi.

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Taxis queuing at the main KwaMhlanga crossing bus pick-up point in Mpumalanga to load commuters travelling to Pretoria as a result of the bus drivers’ strike. Photo: Balise Mabona/ ANA Pictures

Dikeledi called on strict policing of permits and licences by traffic authorities, adding that "unscrupulous operators" could exploit the situation by transporting passengers in unroadworthy and uncertified vehicles.

"The taxi industry, long- and short-distance, will be under a lot of pressure. Hence drivers should exercise caution and at all times stick to the rules of no overloading and no speeding," she said.

"Road fatalities in our country are unbelievably high and that should not continue."

The strike follows talks between unions and bus companies deadlocking at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Unions are seeking a 12 percent increase while employers are offering 7.5 percent.

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