A Metrobus in the bus lane on Albertina Sisulu Road. File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Thousands of commuters were left stranded on Monday after Johannesburg Metrobus services were terminated following a strike. 

One bus that was travelling from Roodepoort to Ghandi Square in Johannesburg CBD was hijacked.

Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shiburi said operations were in full swing on Monday morning but had to stop after the incident, which was a result of intimidation. 

“I have to point out that there are three unions within Metrobus and only those from Demawusa were striking, while members from the South African Municipal Workers Union  and South Africa Transport and Allied Workers Union were at work.”

He said he could not disclose further details, but the organisation was looking into Demawasu’s demands and would hopefully resolve the matter by Monday afternoon. 

Dion Makhura, Demawusa spokesperson, said the strike started at 3am, with almost 300 union members protesting.  

“The first issue is the issue of salary progression, the second issue is where we are demanding that we have access to offices and resources at the depots. The workers must be paid according to the number of years they have been in service,”

He added that Metrobus ran about 450 shifts, which affected more than 50% of operations. 

“We issued a strike notice to Metrobus to try stop the strike. The court ruled that it was legal. We will be picketing until such time there is an agreement.”

Commuter Bulomko Gova, who travels from Meredale to Sandton every morning to attend classes, said the situation was proving to be an inconvenience especially since commuters did not know how long it would take to resolve the matter. 

“I buy a monthly tag and since it is mid-month, I have already spent money for transport. Since there are no buses, I have to spend more on taxis which is going to cost me double. It really is not fair.” 

African News Agency (ANA)