National Union of Metalworkers SA (Numsa) members. File photo: Marilyn Bernard/Independent Newspapers.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is set to meet with the Department of Transport on Wednesday following a spate of attacks on bus drivers that has allegedly left one dead and another wounded. 

According to the union, the attacks on its members working for Autopax has allegedly been carried out by taxi henchmen on the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal route as well as in parts of Limpopo. 

"Our members are refusing to go to work because some taxi owners in these areas are attacking bus drivers, and claiming that Autopax is encroaching on their territory and allegedly using multiple permits. The attacks are brutal and violent. 

"So far one driver has been killed, and another was wounded during a drive by shooting. The incident occurred on 9 September in Ixopo in KZN," the union said in a statement. 

Numsa added that while Prasa was demanding that workers resume their duties, they were demanding that Autopax management guarantee workers' safety.

"We are also calling on the police and metro police to escort to drivers whilst they are transporting members of the public. In the meantime, we are calling on the Department of Transport to urgently resolve the allocation of the routes. 

Numsa's other demands include:

- A meeting must be called with the taxi organisations to get to the bottom of the issues.

- The above meeting must involve the minister in the Department of Transport and the Minister of police.

- Autopax must withdraw their application for an interdict against our members 

- Autopax must beef up their security including calling on Prasa security to supplement the private security to patrol and escort the buses in the areas which have been identified as hotspots.

"Until this is done, our members will not feel safe and they cannot be expected to resume their duties. As Numsa we will continue to do all we can to ensure that our members are safe and that their rights are not being violated," the union said. 

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