10 April 2017
Thousands of Golden Arrow and MyCiTi commuters will be left stranded on Wednesday as bus drivers are expected to stage a nationwide strike. Commuters have been urged to use alternative forms of transport.
It comes as ongoing wage negotiations with several labour unions, including the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU), and the SA Bus Employer’s Association and Commuter Bus Employer’s Organisation deadlocked last month.
In a press statement on Monday, SATAWU said that it and four other unions represented by the South African Road Passengers Bargaining Council (SARPBC), has given employers a 60-hour notice of its intention to strike. It noted that workers were still “willing to convene with employers” this week.
Wage negotiations began in late January, but deadlocked in March. The groups then entered into mediation talks at the CCMA. The mediation process was unsuccessful and the CCMA declared a 30-day “cooling- off period” before strike action could begin.
Unions are demanding a 12% wage increase and are calling for improved working conditions. The employers are currently offering a 7.5% wage increase.
Golden Arrow, which is not directly involved with negotiations, said in a press statement that weekly and monthly clipcards affected by the strike would be extended to when the strike ends.
The City of Cape Town on Monday confirmed in a statement that its MyCiTi services would also be suspended from midnight on Wednesday “to ensure the safety of commuters and personnel for the duration of the strike.”
The City has recommended that commuters carpool. It said it was anticipating increased use of minibus taxis. Officials have asked private businesses to be flexible with work hours considering the inconvenience to commuters.