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Commuters left stranded as bus drivers down keys

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Commuters on the Cape Flats are bearing the brunt of the nationwide bus strike, with thousands of people still waiting for transport to the CBD and other areas. A nationwide strike by bus drivers has inconvenienced an estimated 1.4 million commuters who are struggling to find other modes of transport to get to work and school.  In Cape Town, drivers employed by thee MyCiti and Golden Arrow bus services have downed their keys. Golden Arrow transports around 20 000 of the city’s work force every day, which means that many bus travellers will be left stranded.

VOC reporters at the Mitchell’s Plain taxi rank say queues of commuters are snaking through the taxi rank and bus terminus.

Bus strike

A nationwide strike by bus drivers has inconvenienced an estimated 1.4 million commuters who are struggling to find other modes of transport to get to work and school. The N1 north in Pretoria was closed early this morning because of a protest by striking drivers, while commuters are queing at taxi ranks. The strikers demand a twelve per cent increase. Last night, Cosatu said it was concerned about the effects of the strike on workers as well as the economy.VOC reporter, Louche Jordaan is in Mitchells Plain where queues of commuters are snaking through the taxi rank and bus terminus.

Posted by Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC on Tuesday, 17 April 2018

According to some commuters, taxis were giving regular clients preferential treatment and trains are not reliable as they are constantly delayed. Taxis are filled to capacity and were did not mind being overloaded, as they are desperate to get to work.

Bus commuter Sumaya Adams from Heideveld said she would usually take a 6.25am bus and get to town by 7.30am.

“I only got into a taxi 6.45am. And now I have to pay R44 per day to travel…its ridiculous!’

Commuters queue for taxis in Mitchell’s Plain [Photo: Media Mafia]
Most travelers were concerned about how the strike would affect their pockets, as some are forking out more for transport.  One commuter said a taxi that usually charges R15 to the CBD were charging R17 today, some taking advantage of the bus strike. Many commuters were disappointed that they could not use their bus clip card on the train, as Metrorail said all bus commuters would have to buy train tickets.

“We have to give out extra money and we already get so little. We had to take three taxis to get to town this morning,” said Amanda from Delft.

Travelers wait patiently for a taxi

Many school children from the cape flats are not going to school today, as many teachers have also decided to stay at home.  Some workers said they were concerned that their managers would not be sympathetic to them being late,  despite the City of Cape Town asking employers to be a little bit more flexible with their working times during the strike.

“Physically, we need to get up earlier and our hours at work is longer…our bodies are tired,” said Nicole from Delft.

The bus terminus in the CBD is deserted

The N1 north in Pretoria was closed early this morning because of a protest by striking drivers, while commuters are queing at taxi ranks. The strikers are demanding a twelve per cent increase. Last night, Cosatu said it was concerned about the effects of the strike on workers as well as the economy.

Talks to resolve the bus drivers’ pay dispute could start at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) as soon as Thursday. Workers are demanding a 12% across the board pay increase while employers are offering 7%. VOC 

 


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