Family ties & trust - SA shares memories, heartbreak over Greyhound closure

Millions of South Africans have fond memories of lengthy trips to the ones they longed to be with either in their childhood, student or adult years.

FILE: A Greyhound bus. Picture: Greyhound SA/Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - When news broke on Wednesday of Greyhound and Citiliner bus services closing operations in South Africa after 37 years, the outpouring of sadness - almost grief - was not unexpected.

Millions of South Africans have fond memories of lengthy trips to the ones they longed to be with either in their childhood, student or adult years.

Cape Talk's Refilwe Moloto shared her connection to the company in a moving tribute.

She told her story of a family held together by a bus, and her hope that this was not the end.

"In my case, as a child of divorce, it wasn’t viable for my parents to put three children on a flight every other school holiday… The Greyhound became a safe space for tightening sisterhood, the discovery of a country, and the holding together – even if by shoestring – of a young family across the KZN/Gauteng divide," she said.

"So, it’s a painful process for me to observe the shutting down of Greyhound. I know the jobs matter, but there’s a lot more that’s being lost...

"The elderly bus drivers were, who by the time my sisters went to boarding school, were my siblings on the long road between KZN and Johannesburg… who looked out for us at the time when you could safely rely on strangers in this country."

Social media was filled with similar stories from South Africans across the country who relied on Greyhound to carry them to their various destinations.

Around 600 employees will effectively lose their jobs when the last bus trips are completed on 14 February.

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