Commuters feel impact of nationwide bus strike

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The impact of the strike by bus drivers affiliated to South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) is being felt around the country, with about 15 bus companies not operating.

Soweto is badly affected, with only a handful of buses operating and commuters queuing for taxis.

The situation is similar around the Tshwane Metro, Cape Town, Polokwane and Port Elizabeth.

In KwaZulu-Natal, thousands of passengers who normally use buses to get from rural villages and townships to urban areas are affected.

According to KwaZulu-Natal Satawu Secretary Edgar Mbina, members are not operating in areas such as Durban, Vryheid, Richardsbay/Mpangeni and Newcastle, north of the province and some areas on the south.

The industrial action has affected thousands of commuters as drivers down tools demanding salary increase.

Commuters from townships and rural areas to KwaZulu-Natal industrial areas are left with left with no choice but to seek alternative forms of transport.

Meanwhile, Putco and North Star buses services have withdrawn their services to commuters in Soshanguve, Mabopane and Ga-Rankuwa around the Tshwane Metro.

The only buses on the road in these areas are privately and have been contracted by the Tshwane University of Technology to transport students to various campuses in the area.

Local taxi associations and operators say business is improving due to the non-availability of buses.

Most bus commuters seem to have found alternative modes of transport to travel in and out townships, north of Pretoria.