Johannesburg - Municipal bus drivers who blocked the N2 and N3 highways in Durban on Monday were striking for their December salaries and bonuses, eThekwini municipality Mayor James Nxumalo said.
Nxumalo said the City was currently verifying the drivers' bank accounts to ensure that their monies would be paid into the correct accounts.
This was after the service provider and bus operator Tansnat failed to pay its employees.
"We are trying to avoid a situation whereby the salaries are paid into wrong bank accounts. We have also put in place a set of conditions for the money to be paid back to the City by Tansnat," Nxumalo said.
Last week, the City entered into an agreement with Tansnat in an effort to avoid any strike action by bus drivers.
This was after the drivers had threatened to down tools after Tansnat failed to pay them their bonuses and December salary, said Nxumalo.
The City then decided to step in and pay Tansnat employees - excluding its management - in the interim, and eventually recover the money from the bus operator.
The drivers were asked to submit a form confirming their employment at Tansnat as well as copies of their identity documents and bank statements.
This was all part of the verification process, Nxumalo said. He urged the drivers to be patient during this period.
Earlier on Monday, drivers fetched buses from the depot and drove onto the N2 highway at an extremely slow pace restricting traffic flow.
Some drivers parked along the roads adjacent to the highway. The go-slow later moved to the N3 highway.
The strike began at about 11:30. Once an agreement was reached between the City and the leaders of the strike, drivers dispersed at about 13:00, eThekwini metro police spokesperson Sibonelo Mchunu said.
"Officers drove all the buses that were used to block the road to a bus depot," he said.