File picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media
Johannesburg – Gautrain bus service drivers have joined other drivers around the country in returning to work on Saturday.

"We are pleased to advise that following an agreement being reached the Gautrain bus service has resumed operations from today, 15 April. We thank our drivers for the responsible and professional manner in which they have conducted themselves over the strike. We also thank our passengers for their understanding and support," Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said on Saturday.

Cape Town's Golden Arrow and MyCiTi services also resumed on Saturday.

Golden Arrow buses would be back on the roads on Saturday, the commuter bus company announced on Friday after it had been notified by the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) that a nationwide strike had been settled.

“The general secretary of the bargaining council Gary Wilson stated that the majority of the parties accepted the offer that was tabled and that in terms of the SARPBAC constitution, this will be binding on all the parties that are represented in the council,” Golden Arrow said in a statement.

“As a result of the settlement, Golden Arrow will resume services tomorrow, Saturday 15th April. However, due to the Easter break and the unexpected speedy resolution of the strike, a skeleton staff will be on duty.”

The announcement came after the City of Cape Town announced its MyCiTi bus service would also start operating from Saturday following the strike being settled.

“Passengers should please note that it may take a few hours for the service to settle in, meaning there may be some initial delays on some of the routes. We expect that the service will normalise and that most buses will adhere to the weekend time schedule as the day continues,” mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said.

“I want to thank commuters for their patience during the strike and ask them to please bear with us as we get the service up to full speed again [on Saturday].” Buses ceased operating on Wednesday when drivers from five unions went on strike following a deadlock in wage negotiations.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on Friday announced the strike was over as the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), the Transport and Allied Workers' Union of SA (Tawusa), and the Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Tawu) accepted the nine percent wage deal, signing an agreement binding all unions in the sector. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the Transport and Services Workers' Union (Taswu) rejected the offer, with Numsa defiantly announcing the strike would continue.