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‘Cash strapped’ Autopax makes urgent plans to pay staff salaries

Bus drivers have been on strike for higher wages since last week Wednesday. Autopax’s interim CEO Nathi Khena says the company has so far lost about R16 million.

FILE: Autopax buses at the depot in Mamelodi on 30 June 2015. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Bus company Autopax has now made urgent plans to pay workers' April salaries after informing staff earlier that there is not enough money.

Bus drivers from 16 companies have been on strike for higher wages since last week Wednesday.

Negotiations facilitated by the CCMA and the Labour Department respectively have reached a deadlock.

The Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, has now intervened, hoping workers affiliated to five unions can strike a deal with the employers.

Autopax’s interim CEO Nathi Khena says the company has, so far, lost approximately R16 million.

With the long weekend now underway, Khena says companies are feeling the impact.

“Aside from the inconvenience for our customers, we’re also going to lose quite a lot of revenue from that point of view.”

CABINET CALLS FOR SWIFT END TO BUS STRIKE

Cabinet is calling for a swift end to the national bus strike.

It also wants the impasse on public sector wage negotiations resolved.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says parties need to return to the negotiating table for the sake of the country.

“We’ve urged the Department of Public Service and Administration and the mandating committee to work expeditiously to resolve the impasse on the wage negotiations.”

Mokonyane says Cabinet was also briefed about the lack of progress in talks over civil servants’ wage increases.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)