TMPD closely monitoring Tshwane bus drivers’ strike

Workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) again took to the streets on Tuesday, blocking roads with vehicles and garbage.

City of Tshwane municipal workers protest in the city centre on 29 July 2019, demanding an 18% salary increase. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Law enforcement officers are closely monitoring the situation in the Pretoria CBD where several roads remained closed as a protest by truck and bus drivers continues for a second day.

Workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) again took to the streets, blocking roads with vehicles and garbage.

They’re demanding an 18% pay increase.

The demonstration started on Monday with similar tactics and ground the CBD to a halt.

Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said: “We have deployed our members to try and redirect the traffic into other streets that are not affected. We will continue to be on-site until we are assured that the situation is normal.”

As the municipal strike by bus and truck drivers in Tshwane continues, the city said it simply could not afford an 18% pay hike.

Acting Tshwane Mayor Abel Tau said: “We cannot hold the city at ransom. People’s lives are being disrupted and it’s unfortunate that if we are going to be negotiating for the what we feel is legitimate demands then we should have the confidence to say we can persuade one another without the tactics we’re seeing.”

At the same time, Samwu's Bafana Zungu said the union was willing to negotiate.

“If 18% is not affordable, how much can you afford to pay the workers? Even if you tell us that it’s 5% or maybe R300-R500 per employee, you don’t necessarily have to say it’s 18%.”