Negotiations between striking bus drivers & employers ongoing

A nationwide bus strike has been rolled out since Wednesday, leaving commuters frustrated in search of alternative transport or lining up to join snaking taxi queues.

Commuters queue for taxis in Mitchells Plain on day one of the bus drivers strike on 18 April 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parties involved in bus service wage discussions are meeting to deliberate on issues raised by workers.

A nationwide bus strike has been rolled out since Wednesday, leaving commuters frustrated in search of alternative transport or lining up to join snaking taxi queues.

Workers are demanding a 12% across-the-board increase, while employers are offering 7% for one year going up 7.5% for the third year.

They also want night shifts times to be changed.

South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu)'s Zanele Sabela hopes the deadlock in discussions will be resolved soon.

“The CCMA commissioner is here to intervene in the public’s interest. So as labour we are very, very hopeful that we will make some movement on this to make sure that we move towards a solution.”

Golden Arrow bus drivers Eyewitness News spoke to have expressed their grievances.

“Everything now is increasing, look at the VAT, the VAT is 15% now. Everything is increasing each and every day but we are earning a little salary, as bus drivers," one said.

"We don’t have anything to put on the table for our kids so what are we working for? We are living in shacks but we are bus drivers,” another said.

Satawu says talks between unions, the CCMA and employers seem to be in good spirits, showing no sign of breaking down.

The talks are in the hope to end the national bus strike at Woodmead, north of Johannesburg.

That act left thousands of commuters, who are reliant on buses, scrambling for transport.

Sabela said: “The CCMA actually sent us two commissioners, the employers are here, the unions are here. You can see the spirit of the talks is good because the talks haven’t broken down, they’re still ongoing. So we’re just waiting to see what happens.”