More travel woes for commuters as bus strike continues

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Thousands of commuters around the country, who use buses as their primary mode of transport, will once again have to find alternate modes of transport on Thursday as the nationwide bus strike enters its second day.

About 15 bus companies affiliated to transport union South African Transport & Allied Workers Union (Satawu) downed tools Wednesday, demanding a 12% salary increase.

The employer is only prepared to give them 7%.

As the sun begins to rise on this chilly Thursday morning, there are still no signs of any bus liners affiliated to Satawu on the roads of Gauteng.

At least 50 bus companies are confirmed not to be operating across the country as the strike intensifies.

On Wednesday, Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande said that all parties involved in the negotiations needed to urgently find a negotiated settlement, as commuters are severely affected.

A series of meeting is expected to get underway on Thursday between employers and unions to try and reach a resolution to put an end to the crippling strike.

In Limpopo, commuters have formed queues at various taxi ranks and boarding points at Seshego and Moletjie outside Polokwane.

Some say they want to be early in the queue so that they won’t be late at their work places.

Meanwhile, bus commuters have called on unions that are representing striking bus drivers and the employer’s organisation to resolve the stalemate over pay hikes, as it continues to cost them.

A commuter from Sekgopye outside Polokwane in Limpopo says the situation is hitting them hard in their pockets, as they are paying more money for alternative transport to work.

“They are confusing us these people because buses are helping us here they are very cheap and reasonable and are affordable. Are these taxis affordable? Really not affordable we are really forced to use them.”

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