Bus strike hits hard

2017-04-13 06:01

The nation-wide bus driver strike, which affects millions of commuters has led to local users spending hours at taxi ranks as minibuses struggled to deal with the huge numbers.

Most taxi ranks and train stations in Visionland had a higher than usual turnout; the Khayelitsha Taxi rank was the hardest hit.

Some of the queues there stretched as far as Solomon Tshuku Street, with some commuters claiming to have been waiting for over an hour to catch a ride.

On Tuesday Golden Arrow Bus Services and MyCity urged commuters to find other means of transport as they would cut their services until the strike is resolved.

About 18 bus companies nationally are reported to have been affected by the strike, including local and long distance bus companies.

Privately owned buses have been exempt from the strike. It is reported that the unions are seeking a 12.5 wage increase while employers are offering 7.5.

According to a press release from Golden Arrow Bus Services, the strike was a result of stalled talks between the company and unions.

“Unfortunately, as a result of dead-locked wage negotiations, the unions party to the South African Road Passengers Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) have given notice of their intention to embark upon strike action on 12 April 2017.

Golden Arrow is not in a position to remedy the current situation as SARPBAC comprises employer associations and unions representing the entire South African bus industry.

As a result of the strike action, Golden Arrow will institute a company-wide lock-out in order to ensure the safety of our passengers and staff for the duration of the strike. All services are therefore suspended from 00h01 on 12 April 2017 until further notice,” it read. It said weekly and monthly clip cards that are valid when the strike commences will be extended when service resumes. Mayco member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said that the MyCity shut down was unfortunate but necessary. ‘The lock-out is necessary to ensure the safety of our passengers and personnel, as well as to protect our assets. Unfortunately, the lock-out affects all employees of the VOCs or Vehicle Operating Company who are members of the bargaining units, even the workers who may not be union members. Thus, no MyCiTi buses will be allowed to operate,’ he said.

Khayelitsha resident Thulani Bandla said that he spent over an hour waiting for a bus to Claremont and he was already late for work. I usually take the bus and by this time I should be close to work but I will keep waiting. This strike action couldn’t have come at a worst time because people are preparing for the Easter Holidays as well,”

The nation-wide bus driver strike, which affects millions of commuters has led to local users spending hours at taxi ranks as minibuses struggled to deal with the huge numbers.

Most taxi ranks and train stations in Visionland had a higher than usual turnout; the Khayelitsha Taxi rank was the hardest hit.

Some of the queues there stretched as far as Solomon Tshuku Street, with some commuters claiming to have been waiting for over an hour to catch a ride.

On Tuesday Golden Arrow Bus Services and MyCity urged commuters to find other means of transport as they would cut their services until the strike is resolved.

About 18 bus companies nationally are reported to have been affected by the strike, including local and long distance bus companies.

Privately owned buses have been exempt from the strike. It is reported that the unions are seeking a 12.5 wage increase while employers are offering 7.5.

According to a press release from Golden Arrow Bus Services, the strike was a result of stalled talks between the company and unions.

“Unfortunately, as a result of dead-locked wage negotiations, the unions party to the South African Road Passengers Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) have given notice of their intention to embark upon strike action on 12 April 2017.

Golden Arrow is not in a position to remedy the current situation as SARPBAC comprises employer associations and unions representing the entire South African bus industry.

As a result of the strike action, Golden Arrow will institute a company-wide lock-out in order to ensure the safety of our passengers and staff for the duration of the strike. All services are therefore suspended from 00h01 on 12 April 2017 until further notice,” it read. It said weekly and monthly clip cards that are valid when the strike commences will be extended when service resumes. Mayco member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said that the MyCity shut down was unfortunate but necessary. ‘The lock-out is necessary to ensure the safety of our passengers and personnel, as well as to protect our assets. Unfortunately, the lock-out affects all employees of the VOCs or Vehicle Operating Company who are members of the bargaining units, even the workers who may not be union members. Thus, no MyCiTi buses will be allowed to operate,’ he said.

Khayelitsha resident Thulani Bandla said that he spent over an hour waiting for a bus to Claremont and he was already late for work. I usually take the bus and by this time I should be close to work but I will keep waiting. This strike action couldn’t have come at a worst time because people are preparing for the Easter Holidays as well,”

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