In photos: The long wait to get home

Commuters wait for hours for taxis as bus strike continues

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Photo of people waiting for taxis
At sunset in Sea Point, People tinker with their phones while waiting for taxis to Khayelitsha. All photos by Barry Christianson

The countrywide bus workers’ strike that started last Wednesday continued on Monday.

Bus workers’ salaries are negotiated at the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council by unions and employer organisations. Negotiations started in January but deadlocked, and on 15 April the unions gave employers notice of their intention to strike. Unions are demanding a 12% increase, while employers are offering 6.7%.

Zanele Sabela, a spokesperson for the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, told GroundUp that negotiations did not go well on Friday and no further negotiations have been arranged yet. Commuters across the country have had to make alternative plans, usually involving taxis, to get to work in the morning and back home in the afternoon.

Barry Christianson spoke to and photographed people who work in Sea Point and travel back home to Khayelitsha.

Many people have to wait for up to three hours for a taxi to take them on the hour-long ride back to Khayelitsha.
Portia Ndakisa waited for two hours. She said the the trip is expensive for her. “I usually take the bus so I have a bus ticket. Now, I have to pay for the taxi too. My kids did not go to school today, because there is no transport.” Golden Arrow stated on Sunday that clipcards valid for the period of the strike would be extended beyond it, so their customers don’t lose days they’ve paid for.
Loraine Masanga buys a monthly bus ticket which costs R560. Over the past three days it cost her R100 a day, forcing her to borrow money.
Sidney (surname withheld) usually uses MyCiTi. “I don’t know how this thing [the taxi system] works. I’m asking where does this one go? Where does that one go? I stay where these people stay, but I don’t use taxis.”
Taxis are doing well off the strike but there simply aren’t enough to meet the sudden increase in demand.
Commuters pile into a taxi along Sea Point’s beachfront.
Most commuters will get home long after dark.

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TOPICS:  Labour Transport

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