Bus services all over South Africa will grind to a halt on Wednesday morning. File photo: Itumeleng English / INLSA

Johannesburg - Trade unions on Friday vowed to intensify the ongoing nationwide bus strike after Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) mediation talks yet again failed to yield any positive results. 

The talks were a continuation from Thursday, where unions and employers failed to reach an agreement after being locked in negotiations for hours.

The unions briefing the media following Friday's talks, vowed to intensify the strike after rejecting a new offer of 8.5% by employers, up from 7%.

"Unions collectively have demonstrated a willingness to negotiate in good faith with an intention to find a speedy resolution to the strike and as such the unions were willing to move from their positions as negotiations are form of give and take. However, since yesterday [Thursday] employers adopted a very provocative attitude which constitutes an insult to workers.

"Unions collectively call on all their members in the bus passenger sector to intensify the strike until such time that employers makes an offer that can settle the strike".

Numsa general-secretary Irvin Jim  urged commuters to bear with the bus drivers. 

Brett Herron, Mayco member for Transport, meanwhile, said no buses will operate this weekend and urged parties to find a solution as soon as possible. 

He said the City's bus service had lost 216 000 passenger trips in the last three days as a result of the strike.

Trade unions on Wednesday embarked on a strike after wage negotiations with employer bodies, Commuter Bus Employers Organisation and South African Bus Employers Association (Sabea), reached a deadlock.

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Many commuters were left stranded and had to seek alternative transport as a result of the strike. 

Some of the unions' demands include:

* 9.5% increase for this financial year, and 9% increase for the follwoing financial year

* Equal pay for co-drivers

* Nightshift allowance