File picture: Thomas Holder/Independent Media
Cape Town – Reports and rumours that the bus strike was over, even sightings of buses on the road, abounded in the early afternoon on Friday despite a statement from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) insisting that no deal had been struck to end industrial action in the passenger bus sector.

One source told African News Agency (ANA) that Numsa was “in denial” because it was one of only two unions that had rejected a settlement offer accepted by the three other unions involved.

The deal is reportedly binding as it was signed by the majority of the unions.

Numsa and Transport and Services Workers Union (Taswu) were said to have rejected the 9 percent wage deal.

Numsa, which is leading the strike action, had issued a statement on Friday morning saying no deal had been struck with any of the affected employers.

The message was different on the ground near Rustenburg in the North West, where Thari buses were seen on the road in Lethabong.

Also, at Park Station in Johannesburg, Autopax company buses were selling tickets and loading long-distance travellers eager to reach their destination for the Easter holiday.

The industrial action, which affected commuter bus services, especially long distance services, began on Wednesday. There were long queues at bus stations as commuters, in possession of paid bus tickets, were left stranded.