Talks to end national bus strike to continue

Workers from almost 50 bus companies across the country have embarked on a strike, demanding a 9.5% salary increase in the first year and 9% hike in the second year.

Many commuters were left stranded as a national bus strike got underway on 18 April 2018. Picture: Graig-Lee Smith/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Talks to end the nationwide bus drivers’ strike will continue on Tuesday morning while commuters continue to find alternative transport arrangements.

Workers from almost 50 bus companies across the country have embarked on a strike, demanding a 9.5% salary increase in the first year and 9% hike in the second year.

The employer is offering 8%.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) spokesperson Zanele Sabela says: “Greyhound is also part of it, Putco is also part of it, other bus companies in Mpumalanga and Limpopo are part of it. So, it’s both long haul and short haul. But the Rea Vaya and MyCiTi and in Tshwane are all part of the strike.”

Meanwhile, government will today try to end the nationwide bus strike when it meets unions and employers.

The strike, which affects more than 370,000 passengers who use Golden Arrow and MyCiTi buses, is in its sixth day.

Sabela said: “Having said that, we do not anticipate that this would be a walk in the park, however, we are looking forward to it.”

Unions have dropped their wage demand from 12% to 9.5%, while employers are offering 8%, up from their initial 7% offer.

The strike has had a devastating impact on public transport users since last Wednesday.

Additional reporting by Graig-Lee Smith.