South Africa: Gautrain Operator, Numsa Back to Negotiating Table

Gauteng Transport and Logistics MEC, Kedibone Diale-Tlabela, has welcomed the decision by the Bombela Operating Company and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to go back to the negotiating table, following a deadlock in wage negotiations.

"We are hopeful that the decision to return to the negotiating table will result in adopting an approach which balances the interests of the workers against the long-term stability and sustainability of the Gautrain," Diale-Tlabela said.

On Monday, Bombela Operating Company workers affiliated with NUMSA commenced an indefinite strike due to a wage dispute.

Bombela Operating Company moved quickly to implement contingency plans to ensure Gautrain services operate according to schedule, while union members are engaged in the industrial action.

Diale-Tlabela said government, as the owner of the Gautrain system, appeals to the two parties to find a speedy resolution to the impasse.

The MEC said she believes that such differences can only be resolved through negotiation, given that the end result of industrial action usually has "unpleasant consequences for all parties involved".

"To the commuters, even though Gautrain services have not been disrupted by the strike, we appreciate that news of industrial action can justifiably make you feel anxious and uncertain about the reliability of the service. We commit to continuing our role in urging the two parties to find a speedy resolution to the wage dispute," Diale-Tlabela said.

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