Commuters left frustrated as bus driver strike takes hold

Some commuters say they are going home as they don’t have money after buying their bus tickets for the month.

Cape Town bus terminus. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

MABOPANE – Bus commuters in Mabopane, north of Pretoria, say they are frustrated by Wednesday's nationwide bus driver strike as they have been left stranded and cannot go to work.

Thousands of bus drivers affiliated to Numsa and Satawu are demanding a 15% pay hike.

Scores of commuters are now queuing and waiting for taxis.

Some say they are going home as they don’t have money after buying their bus tickets for the month.

Taxis also have their hands full with more commuters to deal with than usual.

At the same time, the only buses seen driving around this morning belong to the City of Tshwane.

On Tuesday, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said that government had no contingency plan in place to deal with the nationwide strike.

Numsa members are expected to picket outside bus depots across the country on Wednesday morning.

CAPE TOWN AT A STANDSTILL

Capetonians are bracing for a chaotic morning as thousands of bus drivers are downing tools as part of a national strike.

Golden Arrow and MyCiTi buses are grounded on Wednesday as a precaution to ensure the safety of staff and passengers.

Nearly 300,000 commuters will have to find alternative transport.

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott says they will step in to assist with additional trains.

“At the moment only the current gap, the clip card holders will be accepted on Metrorail trains and that is of course until the expiry date, weekly or monthly.”

It’s unclear when the unions and the bus companies will re-open talks.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)