- The bus strike has left hundreds of people stranded over the past couple days with no alternative
- SATAWU and NUMSA are demanding a 12% wage increase and they are not budging
- Taxi ranks are extremely congested and simply cannot accommodate all the stranded commuters
Wednesday morning saw scores of commuters from the Cape Town suburb of Mitchells Plain waiting for hours in long queues due to the bus strike.
Members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) are demanding a 12% wage increase.
Golden Arrow, MyCiTi, Rea Vaya and Putco are the companies affected by the strike.
The foreseeable future for more than 300 000 bus commuters looks bleak as they with have to rely on other forms of public transport.
Hanging up their keys, bus drivers across the country will be on strike from Wednesday.
With a deadlock in wage talks, this had led to the indefinite industrial action.
Commuters relying on Golden Arrow Bus Service in Cape Town, were understandably, very upset about the strike.
Compared to taxis or trains, the bus service, for many, is the most convenient, reliable and affordable mode of transport. In other cases, it is the only option they have.
One commuter says she prefers taking the bus.
“It’s much more reliable and cheaper than the taxi.”
Another commuter says she’s disappointed and doesn’t have a backup plan.
“I’m unhappy. We don’t have a plan B.”
Also suspend as a result of the strike is, MyCiTi and GoGeorge bus services.
Monthly packages bought by commuters from MyCiTi (City of Cape Town), will be extended equal to the number of days the strike lasts.
Metrorail says, the commuters hoping to use their bus tickers for free train rides will not be accommodated. They will have to pay for a train ticket should they choose this mode of transport.
The strike is going to affected hundreds of school children.
The Western Cape Education MEC’s spokesperson Jessica Shelver says officials will be engaging with schools.
“We deal with it on a case-by-case basis. Catch up programmes will be instituted for learners who are either late or are not able to attend school at all.”
As the strike continues, many people will be turning to taxis for transport. The queues at many taxi ranks are already growing.
Mitchells Plain taxi rank was in full swing early this morning.
There has definitely been an increase in the number of commuters opting taxis for their transport.
“It affects the money we have because we need to pay for taxis. I have to use money I didn’t budget for.”
Another adds: “This strike has caused chaos, as you can see. The lines are long.”
After seeing the long queues at the taxi rank, one resident had to make alternative travel arrangements get his daughter to school on time.
“You’ll stand in the queue; we’ll have to make an alternative. My daughter will get a lift to school with a friend.”
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