13 April 2017

South Africa: Bus Strikes - Unions 'Wait and See' As Minister Set to Intervene

Photo: Masixole Feni/GroundUp
MyCiTi bus

Passengers remained stranded on Thursday and feared for their Easter weekend plans as the strike in the bus sector entered a second day. There's hope, however, with the intervention of Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. By GREG NICOLSON & BHEKI C SIMELANE.

A security guard from Advanced Detachment Security watched the impact of the bus strike at Johannesburg's Park Station. "Most people are coming to the ticket offices for refunds ... It's a little chaotic," said the officer, who did not want to be named, on Thursday.

The strike affecting 18 bus companies moved into its second day with unions and employer associations still at loggerheads. According to Stats SA, over 18 percent of households that use public transport rely on buses, and the strike has caused confusion and chaos ahead of the Easter weekend. Putco has cancelled all 682 buses booked for the Zion Christian Church's Moira pilgrimage. Queues of passengers have been lining up for refunds at long-distance bus companies like Greyhound and Autopax, which runs Translux and City to City. As passengers look for alternatives, such as taxis, there is also an increased safety risk.

"That's a difficult one," said Zanele Sabela, South African Transport and Allied Workers'...

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