Gautrain to commuters: Our services are uninterrupted, the strike is limited to our depot in Midrand

Gautrain services were interrupted on Monday, due to the Numsa strike. File picture: David Ritchie / Independent Newspapers

Gautrain services were interrupted on Monday, due to the Numsa strike. File picture: David Ritchie / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 8, 2024


Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Monday morning took to the streets, embarking on a strike at Gautrain.

On Sunday, Numsa warned commuters that services at Gautrain may be interrupted due to the strike, following a deadlock in wage negotiations.

“The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa served a 48-hour notice to strike with the management of the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) which operates the Gautrain. Wage talks began on April 17, and we have had two rounds of talks,” said Numsa spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.

“Our last meeting was on June 11 which is when we deadlocked with the employer. We are the majority union with sole negotiating power at Gautrain. The bosses refuse to meet our demands and this has led to workers resorting to strike action.”

Numsa spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola. File Picture

She said Numsa’s core demands include a 13% increase across the board; medical aid contribution of 60% by the BOC; and housing allowance of R2,000 per employee per month.

“The BOC was initially a five-day operation and then it changed to a six-day operation without compensating workers for the extra work. Workers have not been remunerated for these additional hours and we are demanding that they must be compensated for this. And going forward, they must be paid the overtime rate for the sixth day,” Hlubi-Majola.

However, on Monday, Gautrain Management Agency CEO, Tshepo Kgobe, told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika that services are running smoothly and the industrial action is limited to depots.

“The picketing rules are exact – you can only picket at your place of work. Their place of work is at the depot. The stations are not affected by all of this,” Kgobe said.

“Anybody who pickets at the stations would now be embarking on an illegal and unprotected strike. The strike is protected as long as it remains at the depot. Our stations remain safe. The one thing that we have always been proud of is safety in our system and that will remain so.”

Gautrain has assured commuters that its services are uninterrupted amid a strike by Numsa. File Picture

Police and private security guards were maintaining a strong presence at the Gautrain Midrand depot where the protesting workers were singing and burning tyres.

Amid the cold weather across Gauteng, Kgobe assured commuters that they will not be left in the lurch.