File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Commuters in Cape Town struggled to get to work on Friday as the nationwide bus strike entered its third day and trains were delayed due to technical difficulties.

Metrorail reported delays of more than 60 minutes due to signal power failure between Cape Town, Mutual, Pinelands, Observatory and Ysterplaat. Commuters were advised to make alternative transport arrangements which means their only option would be taxis due to the strike by bus drivers.

On Thursday unions representing thousands of employees in the bus industry and employers could not reach an agreement over their wage dispute after being locked in negotiations for hours, despite the intervention of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

Meshack Ramela, who represents the employers, said talks would continue on Friday in Woodmead in Johannesburg.

Satawu, one of the four unions representing more than 17 000 bus drivers in the country, said they could not disclose if there was a new offer on the table.

The unions have demanded a 12 percent wage increase, while the employer offered 7 percent. Other demands relate to working hours and equal pay for dual drivers.

“Unfortunately commuters have to make alternative transport arrangements (today), " said Satawu spokesperson Zanele Sabela. "We are hopeful that an agreement will be reached soon.” 

IOL and Cape Times