File picture: Bongani Shilubane/ANA

Pretoria - Thousands of bus commuters in Tshwane are complaining that they have to spend double on their transport fees after bus drivers went on a nationwide strike on Wednesday.

As a result, various bus companies have halted their operations, including Megabus; Gautrain Busses; Greyhound; Golden Arrow; MyCiti Bus in Cape Town; Rea Vaya in Johannesburg; Buscor in Mpumalanga; Bojanala in the North West; Algoa Bus in Port Elizabeth; Mayibuye in East London; Go George in George; Areyeng in Tshwane; Mgqibelo in Sedibeng; Lowveld Bus Company in Limpopo; PAL Bus in Mpumalanga; and Mphakathi in Mpumalanga among others.

Only the Tshwane Bus Service is running as normal.

Commuters in Tshwane have been scrambling for alternative transport since the early hours of the morning. 

William Seleke said he had bought a monthly A Re Yeng bus ticket and had to pay again for alternative transport. “Where do they think we get the money for alternative transport. I can’t afford to spend so much on transport. This is unacceptable,” he said.

Read: WATCH: Commuters countrywide stranded as #BusStrike hits

This comes after wage negotiations in the industry deadlocked last month‚ leaving commuters in the lurch. Wage negotiations between South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC)‚ the Commuter Bus Employers Organisation and SA Bus Employers Association started in January this year.

SARPBAC includes the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union‚ Transport and Allied Workers Union‚ the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the Tirisano Transport and Services Workers Union.

Employees want a 12% wage increase‚ while employers are offering a 7% increase‚ 7.25% increase the next year‚ and a 7.3% increase in 2020 with a basic minimum wage set at R6 070.

MMC of Roads and Transport Cllr Sheila Senkubuge said: “We are unfortunately faced with this situation as a result of wage negotiations that have deadlocked. The unions which are part of SA Road Passengers Bargaining Council have given notice of their intention to embark on a strike with effect from yesterday.”

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Pretoria News