The North West Transport Management department has apologised to bus drivers employed by North West Star bus services, for the company’s failure to pay them their weekly and full monthly salaries.

This has resulted in the bus drivers and some workers at North West Star embarking on a strike, leaving commuters stranded in the Hammanskraal and Moretele areas, north of Pretoria.

 

The company says it has financial challenges, hence the failure to pay its employees.

Departmental spokesperson Oshebeng Koonyaditse says, “The problems have been exacerbated by lockdown regulations or COVID-19, because the buses were not operational for two months. As a result, revenue that normally is collected during that time … the entity could not get that money. Secondly, there had been challenges as result of our external stakeholders, our partners with whom we have contracts, who were unable to pay because of COVID-19 pandemic. We are hoping that by the 10th of June, the salaries shall be paid.”

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), chairperson, Nelson Madumo says they will report back to their members.

“Our members including myself, we also went on strike simply because of the fact a we were not able to get our salaries and also drivers were not able to get their wages. So that’s why we are on strike. We cannot state clearly to say we are resuming work tomorrow because as the leaders we are only here [as messengers]. We are advisor of the employees. So since we were here because of the mandate that we got from the members will have to revert back to the employees [to] give them the outcome of the meeting,” adds Madumo.