No end in sight for national bus strike

Bus companies have expressed concern over the demonstrations affecting their services even during the Easter long weekend.

FILE: Picture: facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - As the national strike by bus drivers look set to continue on Thursday, bus companies have apologised to commuters for the inconvenience and have expressed concern over the demonstrations affecting their services even during the Easter long weekend.

Hundreds of South Africans usually use buses to go to various religious events across the country and to visit their loved ones.

Talks between bus companies and unions including National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) and South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) are deadlocked.

Satawu wants a 12% salary increase but employers are offering 7.5%, while Numsa is demanding a 15% wage hike.

The unions say their members will not return to their posts until their demands are met.

Putco’s Witness Mhlongo says the company will work to resolve issues to avoid commuters being inconvenienced even further.

“It’s not a good situation for all of us but the situation is far beyond our control.”

Metrobus’s Nkosinathi Nkabinde says the services are continuing as normal, but the load has become larger because of the strike by drivers from other companies.

“Our drivers are not taking part in the national strike.”

Gautrain bus services have also been affected.

The company’s Kesagee Nayager says: “The Gautrain bus services will be sustained as from today. The train service is not affected.”

All companies say they’re not sure when drivers will return to their posts but will work to find an amicable solution with the unions.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)