Bus operator Greyhound and its subdivision, Citiliner, are closing operations today, leaving at least 700 people without jobs. The company that had been operating for more 35 years was one of the first coach operators to begin services in South Africa. Their extensive route network covered all the major cities in the country, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and Pretoria.
They also operated services to Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and Maputo in Mozambique.
The company announced its decision to close down at the beginning of the month, saying the COVID-19 outbreak has had a negative impact on its coffers.
Songezo Sokhweba from eNgcobo in the Eastern Cape is among the many Greyhound workers who lost their jobs.
“It’s sad that I lost my job at this company. Them closing down, it’s very bad because we did not plan for it and it’s going to affect our families badly,” says Sokhweba.
Passengers who had booked for trips after today, can contact the company for a refund.
People who used the Greyhound and Citiliner buses in the past say they are concerned about the plight of staff – many of whom will be without jobs.
Rochelle Titmus says passengers have alternatives, but the workers face a difficult situation.
“I am very sad about it. I used Greyhound for many, many years, travelling from Joburg to Cape town; Cape Town to Joburg; Durban to Cape Town. I have been travelling all around and to see this company going is sad. I only used them. Now, I have to use other companies,” Titmus says.
Workers’ union, Numsa, has described the closure of the company as a huge blow to workers and their families.
“We cannot afford as a country to lose any more jobs as this worsen conditions for the working class and the poor,” says the union.
One worker reportedly supports at least five to six extended family members in South Africa.
Shock as Greyhound bus service collapses: