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Bus commuters urged to find alternative transport ahead of nationwide strike

Unions have already given notice to strike to the South African Bargaining Council following a deadlock in wage negotiations.

FILE; Passengers at Park Station were unaware of a bus driver strike on 13 April 2017. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg has urged commuters to find alternative transport as Rea Vaya buses will not be operating from Wednesday due to the planned national bus strike.

Unions have already given notice to strike to the South African Bargaining Council following a deadlock in wage negotiations.

Among the union's demands is a 12% “across the board” pay increase.

The strike will affect short and long-distance bus services countrywide.

Rea Vaya’s Benny Makgoga said: “As a result, our passengers will be stranded once again because the drivers will be on strike as of tomorrow and we urge them to use alternative public transport.”

CAPE TOWN

Many Capetonians who rely on bus services may have to stay home on Wednesday as a result of the nationwide strike goes ahead.

But Golden Arrow Bus Services is hoping a wage hike deal can be struck before the end of the day.

The hundreds of thousands of bus commuters are hoping for a swift resolution.

Some commuters at the bus terminus at Cape Town's Grand Parade are aware of the possibility of a strike, while for others, it's the first time they are hearing about it.

The MyCiti bus service is also affected by the strike.

But everyone agrees: a bus strike will be a major inconvenience, especially in their pockets.

One commuter said: “I pay anything between R5,30 for a ride in Cape Town and the pensioners take a taxi for about R10 I think.”

Another added: “Tomorrow, I’m not going to work, I don’t have a choice because I have clip cards.”

Unions have given a 48-hour deadline for an agreement to be reached - if talks are still deadlocked at midnight drivers across the country will down their keys on Wednesday.

SATAWU SAYS BUS STRIKE GOING AHEAD

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) says it will meet with employers on Thursday to try and resolve a wage dispute in the sector but the nationwide strike planned for Wednesday will go ahead.

Satawu's Solomon Mahlangu said: “Around 17,000 in terms of the employees that are part of the bargaining unit in the bargaining council, but there will be more because there are also non-parties that will be participating in the strike.”

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