Commuters face another hard week as nationwide bus strike continues

Commuters at the Dobsonville taxi rank. (Amanda Khoza/News24)
Commuters at the Dobsonville taxi rank. (Amanda Khoza/News24)

Many commuters must once again look for alternative transport as the nationwide bus strike looks set to intensify as it enters its sixth day on Monday.

The continued strike action comes as a result of failed wage negotiations between unions and employers over the course of a two-day meeting with the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Workers initially demanded a 12% increase and employers offered 7%. The workers have since rejected an offer of 8% for the first year, and 8.5% in the second year, instead proposing a 9.5% increase in the first year and 9% for the second.

READ: Sanco calls on government to break bus strike deadlock

"The bus strike is continuing, we are intensifying the action," South African Transport Workers and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) spokesperson Zanele Sabela said.

"We are calling on non-unionised members to down tools in order to put more pressure on employers to give us what we want."

The strike, which started on Wednesday, has left thousands of commuters stranded and a significant strain has been placed on other forms of public transport.

#BusStrike: Metrorail train services resume, as bus driver talks continue

A statement on Sunday from the City of Cape Town informed commuters that the MyCiTi service remains suspended until further notice.

A joint statement from all of the relevant trade unions said that the intensified strike action is in response to the employers "provocative attitudes" during negotiations.

A call for government intervention is being supported by the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco).

"Though the inconvenience affects hundreds of thousands of commuters that are bearing the brunt of the standoff, it is the poor working class commuting daily to and from work due to apartheid spatial planning that are the hardest hit as they cannot afford any alternative to the public transport system," said Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu on Saturday.

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