Johannesburg - The South African government urged stakeholders involved in the bus industry to speedily find a solution and resolve the wage negotiations impasse as a strike continued with no end in sight on Monday.
A national strike by bus drivers which has crippled commuter services entered the sixth day on Monday as negotiations for salary increases continued.
Bus drivers, led by trade union South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), are demanding a 12 percent salary increase across the board, while employers are offering seven percent.
Phumla Williams, acting director-general of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), said transport was an important sector in growing the South African economy.
"As government we would like to appeal to the employer and employee representatives that are involved in the dispute to speedily work towards finding a resolution notwithstanding the fact that the constitutional right provides the workers the right to strike," Williams said.
"We would like to appeal that they do it [strike] within the law. We appeal for tolerance, particularly to the taxi industry to allow the commuters to use lift-clubs during this period and other forms of transport."
Commuters across the country have had to make alternative arrangements to get to their destinations after the strike began on Wednesday. Many have had to incur additional costs as they had already purchased long term bus tokens they now cannot use.
Satawu has been joined by the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union‚ the Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa and the Tirisano Transport and Services Workers Union in the strike. Negotiations were due to continue on Monday at the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration.
African News Agency/ANA