The MyCiTi bus services were suspended in Khayelitsha after yet another bus was set alight, leaving thousands of commuters stranded. Photo: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – The City has turned to the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (Sarpbac) National Bargaining Forum to intervene in a dispute between striking MyCiTi employees and their employers.

This was part of attempts to have the service, which has been interrupted since the strike started nearly a month ago, fully restored. 

The employees want to be directly employed by the City and they want better working conditions. The strike has turned violent, with the striking employees allegedly intimidating their non-striking colleagues and setting buses alight.

The service was suspended in Khayelitsha yesterday, leaving thousands of commuters stranded after yet another bus was torched. Another bus was set alight in Milnerton on Tuesday.

City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said the safety of passengers was of paramount concern to the City, as was that of the bus drivers and other MyCiTi personnel who were not participating in the wildcat strike.

“Sarpbac has made available a senior commissioner to facilitate the negotiations to resolve the impasse between the aggrieved employees and the companies that are contracted by the City to operate the MyCiTi service - these include the vehicle operating companies (VOCs) and the company that is operating the MyCiTi stations. The mediator is currently meeting with the parties.” 

MyCiTi vehicle-operating company Kidrogen said 10% of their employees had not returned to work.

Spokesperson Leah Eckles said: “We haven’t dismissed any drivers as yet. The investigation is still in progress. We are being cautious and taking every effort not to make mistakes regarding the drivers who are responsible for prolonging the strike versus those who are not.

“We have 88 taxi bosses, excluding their staff, which are all currently assisting with protecting the drivers.

“They are keeping an eye on all the MyCiTi vehicles, not only Kidrogen’s fleet. They are protecting all the MyCiTi VOC’s.”

Cape Times