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Phahlane: Police ready to deal with anti-Zuma march, bus strike

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says police will execute their duties to the best of their abilities on this busy day.

FILE: Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – As various political parties and civil society groups prepare to lead thousands of people to Pretoria against President Jacob Zuma, bus commuters are left stranded as unions go on strike.

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says officers will have their hands full but are trained and able to handle the pressure.

The bus strike workers affiliated to several unions are demanding a 12% wage hike and better working conditions.

Earlier this week, unions said their workers wouldn’t report for work on Wednesday morning after negotiations with employers reached a deadlock.

Phahlane says police will execute their duties to the best of their abilities on this busy day.

“It is always unfortunate that policing resources are diverted the core business of fighting crime and we get involved from one day to the other to be managing protest marches. We’re ready to work around the situation.”

MABOPANE FRUSTRATIONS

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.

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.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)