Photo: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
MyCiTi operator Kidrogen has given striking employees an ultimatum that should they continue to not report for work, they will face the axe.

The company operating the service in the inner-city area, including Table View and Montague Gardens, has 148 buses and 200 drivers. Only 21 buses were in operation yesterday.

The company’s group chief executive, Andile Peter, said the strike initially caught them by surprise but now it had reached a point where workers needed to report for work.

If they were found to be orchestrating any aspect of the strike, they would be fired.

“By hook or by crook, we will make sure buses are on the roads, even if we need to employ new drivers.

‘‘Based on evidence, we will dismiss all those that are involved in the illegal strike,” Peter said.

Those drivers who were reporting to work were being escorted by security, said Peter. 

Five striking workers were arrested after police used stun grenades to disperse a group who gathered in the red bus lane at the Civic Centre station, preventing buses from operating, according to Mayco member for transport Brett Herron.

Strikers had targeted buses operating on the N2 Express routes between the Cape Flats and the City, and at least four buses were stoned in Khayelitsha shortly before the peak-hour period.

Herron said the strikers were in defiance of a court interdict preventing them from, among other things, intimidating, harassing or assaulting MyCiTi personnel and passengers, damaging MyCiTi stations, depots and buses, and gathering at or coming closer than 100m to MyCiTi stations, depots or buses.

He said a MyCiTi bus was petrol-bombed in Kuyasa in Khayelitsha on Monday, and another bus was targeted later in the evening close to Mew Way.

“Passengers have been too scared to use the Civic Centre station for days now.

‘‘Apart from barricading some of the red bus lanes, the strikers have also managed to enter several MyCiTi stations, removing those workers who have reported for duty, while at the same time threatening and intimidating passengers.

‘‘This has been the strikers’ modus operandi since they have embarked on this unprotected strike.

“The unprotected strike is in contravention of the Labour Relations Act, and those participating are not getting paid while being absent from work.

“They will face disciplinary action, if they have not been dismissed already,” Herron said.