7 Sha’baan 1439 AH • 24 April 2018

Commuters to brace for nationwide bus strike

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As a result of dead locked wage negotiations, Golden Arrow has confirmed that a nationwide strike is set to take place on Wednesday 18th April. Golden Arrow Spokesperson, Bronwen Dyke Beyer says negotiations are still underway and they are hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon.

“If the strike action goes ahead, Golden Arrow will institute a companywide lock out in order to ensure the safety of our passengers and staff for the duration of the strike – therefore services could be suspended from the 18th April 2018,” says Dyke Beyer.

She further states that passengers in possession of valid weekly and monthly tickets will be able to use their tickets once the bus service resumes.

The strike action is as a result of dead-locked wage negotiations. The unions who are party to the South African Road Passengers Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) have subsequently given notice of their intention to embark on strike action.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) has rejected the employers’ offers of a three year agreement with a 7% increase in year one‚ and 7.25% increase the next year‚ and a 7.3% increase in 2020 with a basic minimum wage set at R6‚070.

“Unions are also demanding full pay for dual drivers as employers are currently enjoying free labour‚ where the second driver who is not at the wheel at the beginning of a journey is only entitled to a R400 allowance per month‚” said Satawu in a statement.

“Employers argue the dual driver is not on duty until he takes the wheel. This thinking is obviously flawed because the driver cannot be elsewhere or do anything else but be on the bus from the time the trip commences‚” it read.

The City of Cape Town has informed commuters that the MyCiTi service will also be suspended as from midnight on Wednesday 18 April 2018 until further notice. No MyCiTi buses will be operating and commuters are requested in advance to make alternative arrangements.

“The City has been informed that the Vehicle Operating Companies (VOCs) operating the MyCiTi service will institute a lock-out as from midnight on Wednesday 18 April 2018 to ensure the safety of commuters and personnel for the duration of the strike. This, in effect, means that there will be no MyCiTi trunk or feeder services available as from Wednesday morning, for as long as the strike and lock-out continue,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

“We regret the inconvenience caused and the pressure it adds on commuters to make alternative travel arrangements. The strike will have a serious knock-on effect on all public transport and road-based traffic as more than 72 000 commuters make use of the MyCiTi service on any given weekday. Furthermore, we anticipate that the strike action will have a severe impact on Cape Town’s commuters who are already taking strain due to the challenges that Metrorail is experiencing with the Central line.”

Herron said the City is expecting a significant increase in the number of vehicles on the city’s road network because the bus commuters will either opt for minibus-taxis or use their own private vehicles to get to work and back.

“I am therefore calling on private businesses in Cape Town to consider implementing flexible working hours or remote working arrangements for employees where possible and practical for the duration of the strike action.

“It will bring great relief if private businesses would allow their employees to work remotely from satellite offices for a number of days or hours; or to allow employees to begin and end working at different times; or to work from home during the peak and then to travel to work during the off-peak,” said Councillor Herron.

Apart from the call on private businesses to manage their employees’ working hours during this time, the City is also requesting residents to consider alternative travel arrangements.

“Car-pooling could be a practical option for those living further away. For example, those residents who live in close proximity to one another and work in the same area could drive together,” said Councillor Herron.

Commuters are also advised to visit the MyCiTi website on www.myciti.org.za for regular updates; and to follow us on Twitter @MyCiTiBus; or to phone the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63 – the TIC is available 24/7.

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