Yet another Rea Vaya bus service strike has left some commuters in Soweto and parts of Johannesburg stranded.
A commuter from Soweto, who identified herself as Nompumelelo Luthuli, said the bus service is unreliable as each and every month, there are new problems that prevent the service from running optimally.
“Can somebody please try and find out what is happening with this bus service, because every month end it’s the same story. It is not fair for people who depend on this service to be treated this way. This is truly unacceptable, I was charged for a trip after asking the lady who works at the Ellis Park station when the bus is coming, and she said soon. I waited for two hours and still no bus and when I tapped out, a trip was deducted due to your incompetence,“ the commuter said.
The latest suspension of services is said to be due to salary problems with the Rapid Bus Transit Service saying some of its routes have been suspended.
The National Union of Mineworkers South Africa (Numsa) has condemned the City of Joburg for its failure to pay operating companies PioTrans and Litsamaiso.
In a statement, Numsa spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said has impacted bus drivers who have not been paid their October salaries.
“This failure to pay the bus operators means that workers at Rea Vaya have not been paid! The salaries for this month have not yet been paid and they were due to have been paid by the 25th of October. This has been a problem since the beginning of the year where the City fails to pay, and so workers stay home, and passengers are left stranded. This is incompetence on a grand scale,” Hlubi-Majola said.
The bus service provider confirmed this morning that the bus service in some parts of the city is still suspended.
“Rea Vaya Phase 1A buses are still suspended due to internal labour issues. The bus operating company is addressing the matter. We will provide feedback on the situation during the course of the day. Phase 1B buses are operating. We apologise for the inconvenience,” Rea Vaya said on Wednesday morning.
According to Numsa Rea Vaya has been sending misleading reports on social media on their efforts to resolve the matter.
“We have noted the misleading posts which Rea Vaya has posted on its X account where they claim they are, in consultation with the bus operation company to establish the cause of the disruption. They know very well why the service has been disrupted and they are hiding behind PR jargon for their failures. They are responsible for this crisis,“ she said.
“Workers cannot be expected to show up for work when they have not been paid their salaries. How can they feed their families, pay for petrol and public transportation when they have not been paid? We condemn the City of Joburg for failing workers, and for failing the public because of their gross incompetence,” she said.
According to a statement by the service provider, the suspension has affected T1, C1, C2, C3, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 passengers.
“Passengers are informed that Rea Vaya buses T1, C1, C2, C3, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 are temporarily suspended until further notice.We are in consultation with the bus operation company to establish the cause of the service disruption, we apologise for the inconvenience,“ Rea Vaya said on Monday.