20 April 2018

South Africa: Bus Strike Enters Third Day

Photo: SABC News/YouTube
Commuters queue for transport as South Africa's bus strike continues.

The nationwide bus strike enters its third day on Friday as employers and unions return to the negotiating table to make another attempt at striking a deal.

This was after no agreement was reached by the end of Thursday during talks facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

"Until we actually come out to say this is over, the strike continues," National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) spokesperson Phakhamile Hlubi told News24 on Thursday.

Hlubi said Numsa, the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union, the Transport and Omnibus Workers' Union, the Tirisano Transport Workers' Union and the Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa, were all present at the CCMA talks in Johannesburg, as required.

The CCMA talks were convened when the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council asked for urgent intervention to help stop the strike, which began on Wednesday.

The unions are demanding a pay rise of 12% while employers offered 7%. Among other demands is a minimum wage of R8 000 instead of R6 070.

Exhausted taxi drivers

Legacy companies such as Putco and Golden Arrow were among those that confirmed that their buses would still not be back on the road on Friday.

Cape Town's MyCiTi buses are among those that will also remain suspended on Friday, said Brett Herron, member of the mayoral committee on transport.

In the meantime, taxi operators and rail services are picking up the slack - which includes at least 220 000 passengers that Golden Arrow Bus Services alone ferries per day in the Cape Town area.

Central Unity Taxi Association (CUTA) chairperson Ernest Stofile said their drivers had been working from 04:00 until 00:00 since the strike started on Wednesday, to get people to work and back.

Their drivers are being compelled to take a rest period during off-peak time to avoid accidents caused by exhaustion.

Stofile appealed to employers who have businesses where it is possible to institute flexi-time to let their employees go to work at off-peak times to free up space for taxi drivers transporting people who do not have this option.

Source: News24

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