SACCI: Commuters might carry unaffordable wage hike

The Chamber's CEO Alan Mukoki says if the companies can't find the savings to pay for the increases it will have a ripple effect.

An empty bus terminus is pictured in the Cape Town CBD amid a bus driver strike. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) warns if bus companies agree to wage increases they can't afford, the costs will ultimately have to be carried by commuters.

Thousands of citizens have had to make alternative arrangements due to a national bus strike, which includes drivers from Golden Arrow and MyCiti.

The striking members are demanding a 12% wage increase but employers say they can only afford 7.5%.

The Chamber's CEO Alan Mukoki says if the companies can't find the savings to pay for the increases it will have a ripple effect.

“That cost is going to be carried by the passengers, and therefore those passengers will have less disposable income. So if someone was going to buy a burger, they can no longer buy that burger, so the people who sell burgers are also affected by the increase that was taken by the employees who happen to be bus drivers. Everything is related in economics.”

Meanwhile, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Janine Myburgh says the strike comes amid other costly happenings.

“April has three public holidays, and we lost business during the process. There are protests today as well. In addition, the month has also brought us credit downgrades. So the combined effect will be disastrous. It’s almost impossible to quantify this stage.”

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)