Pretoria CBD gridlocked as bus drivers block roads in pay strike

Drivers want an 18% salary increase.

The Pretoria CBD was gridlocked on 29 July 2019 with stationary buses blocking several roads. It’s understood the disruption was caused by a bus driver strike. Picture: @JabuMoroko/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Tshwane Metro Bus drivers affiliated to municipal union Samwu are blocking off major routes in the CBD on Monday morning, demanding more pay.

The union has been negotiating with the city but reports that former city manager Moeketsi Mosola received a R7 million golden handshake appear to have angered them even more.

Drivers want an 18% salary increase.

This morning parts of the capital were gridlocked due to the bus blockade and this has affected major feeder routes, including the Mabopane and N4 highways.

Samwu's Lesang Montsho: "The employer is very reluctant to give a straight forward answer. We know the money is available as the chief financial officer has indicated that the money can be paid."

Tshwane Metro Police were on the scene trying to remove the buses and redirect traffic.

Spokesperson Isaac Mahamba: "We are engaging the bus services to see how they can remove those buses."

City of Tshwane officials have claimed that the protesting Samwu members stole the buses to barricade roads in the CBD.

The city said that appropriate action would be taken against those involved.

MMC for Roads and Transport Sheila Lynn Senkubuge: "They've taken out the keys and abandoned the buses to make sure that anyone who tries to get in or around the city would not be able to - they've taken a large number of buses. Our [security] measures were not strong enough as they took the buses but the bottom line is that these are workers who work within the depot. We've already got a list of every single driver who was involved in this and there will be strong disciplinary action taken."

Senkubuge said that since the keys had been removed from the buses, the vehicles would have to be towed.