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Nationwide bus strike to leave commuters stranded

Government data shows that nearly 20% of the country’s population use buses as a mode of transport and most of them will be affected on Wednesday.

FILE: Golden Arrow bus. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN – Millions of bus commuters across the country could be left stranded when bus drivers go on strike on Wednesday.

Thousands of bus drivers affiliated to various trade unions will down tools in support of their demand of a 12% across-the-board increase.

They could not reach an agreement with 16 companies, who are offering around 7.5% after three months of negotiations.

Government data shows that nearly 20% of the country’s population use buses as a mode of transport and most of them will be affected on Wednesday.

In Cape Town, Golden Arrow buses transport about 220,000 passengers on weekdays.

At least 71,000 MyCiTi commuters will be affected when the City of Cape Town suspends operation after midnight.

The City’s Priya Reddy says the lockout is necessary for the safety of commuters and staff.

“The City will engage with Metrorail and the South African National Taxi Council to see how they can assist in providing additional resources to accommodate commuters who usually make use of the bus services to get to their destinations.”

Wednesday’s strike action could still be averted as the unions say they are still open to talks with the bus companies about a settlement before the end of the day.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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