Tshwane bus services suspended following strike chaos

2019-07-30 07:27
Gridlocked traffic in the Tshwane CBD due to a bus driver strike. (Image via Twitter)

Gridlocked traffic in the Tshwane CBD due to a bus driver strike. (Image via Twitter)

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The bus strike that caused chaos on the streets of Tshwane on Monday had been expected to continue on Tuesday; however, bus services have been suspended entirely, eNCA reported. 

Early morning tweets reported that up to 30 buses were parked in front of Tshwane House at around 06:00 on Tuesday and that delays could be expected, but the buses were reportedly stationary and did not affect the flow of traffic. 

Netwerk24 reported that the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) was planning to go ahead with the strike, with up to 3 000 members participating. 

The Afrikaans online publication quoted Samwu regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane as saying the union planned to go ahead with strike action. 

Senior superintendent Isaac Mahamba, who is the spokesperson for the Tshwane police, reportedly said though no official notice of a strike had been received, police were on standby. 

On Tuesday morning, Mahamba said the only affected area was at Eskia Mphahlele Street between Boom and Madiba streets. 

Mahamba said some delays could be expected but that the situation was "much better" than on Monday. 

The entire Tshwane central business district was gridlocked on Monday morning as disgruntled municipal bus drivers went on strike, seeking an increase in wages, News24 reported on Monday.

"I received the first report at about 06:00 that municipal bus drivers had parked their vehicles and left with their keys," Mahamba told News24. 

EWN reported that the drivers, affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu), were seeking an 18% increase.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged bus drivers to respect the rights of other road users, discuss their grievances with the municipality and desist from blockading roads:

"The city is not only the administrative capital of the country, but also a critical economic hub. A shutdown of this nature not only undermines the rights of other road users to access their places of work or centres of economic activity, but has the potential to deal a severe blow to an economy which can ill afford disruptions. It must not be allowed to continue," Mbalula said. 

Mbalula has called for the law to take its course. "Lawlessness must not prevail. Workers have a right to strike but they must do so within the confines of traffic laws."

This is a developing story. 


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