Thousands stranded as bus drivers go on strike

Satawu's Solomon Mahlangu says the strike will affect several short and long distance bus services across the country.

Commuters queue for taxis at the Mitchells Plain bus terminus in Cape Town as bus drivers strike over wages on 18 April 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Thousands of bus commuters will have to find alternative means to reach their destinations on Wednesday morning due to a nationwide bus drivers' strike.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) confirmed plans to abandon their posts on Tuesday night following a deadlock in wage talks.

Workers are demanding a 12% across the board pay increase while employers are offering 7%.

Satawu's Solomon Mahlangu says the strike will affect several short and long distance bus services across the country.

“We’ll have a meeting, Thursday and Friday to try and resolve this thing. The strike is unavoidable, we’ll continue striking.”

Mahlangu of Satawu has blamed employers for the industrial action.

“We’ll definitely have a meeting and hope to have it resolved by Thursday or Friday. The strike is unavoidable. We’ll continue striking.”

Trade union Numsa's Irvin Jim says striking drivers says it will not settle for anything less than a 12% increase.

“They are only prepared to pay them when they drive. Once you’re at work and inside a bus as an alternative driver who’s travelling long distance, you must be paid by the employer. They can’t pay you only when you drive the bus. We reject that.”

Services affected include Rea Vaya, Gautrain, Putco and Megabus in Gauteng, while MyCiti and Golden Arrow being affected in Cape Town.

However, Joburg's Metrobus, the Tshwane Bus Service and Durban transport drivers are not taking part in the work stoppage.