Bus drivers and other staff employed by the MyCiti bus vehicle operating companies have embarked on an illegal strike at the Civic Center. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Thousands of MyCiTi clients were forced to find alternative transport after drivers went on a wildcat strike on Monday. The drivers, employed by three companies contracted to the City, complained about poor working conditions. The want to City to employ them directly.

Some things about this unprotected strike are cause for concern. The drivers may have legitimate complaints, but have they exhausted all internal processes to address their grievances?

What gives them the right to inconvenience thousands of commuters? That said, why are employees driven to the point that they are willing to sacrifice wages? And what exactly is the City’s attitude towards the MyCiTi operating companies? The City pays them a small fortune. It must have a say in how they treat their workers.

The MyCiTi brand and its reputation are the City’s - not the operating companies’. Have all the parties involved in this saga spared a thought for commuters depending on the service? I hope sanity prevails.

The strike comes at a time Metrorail’s troubles are nothing short of an embarrassment. In a world-class city like Cape Town, commuters must be provided safe, clean and reliable public transport. It is the duty of the authorities responsible for public transport to ensure everything possible is done to deliver such a service.

Peace.

* Aziz Hartley, Cape Argus editor.

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