Transport minister calls for amicable solution in national bus strike

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JOHANNESBURG, April 18 – South African transport minister Blade Nzimande on Wednesday appealed to all parties involved in the negotiations aimed at ending the bus strike to urgently and cordially find a negotiated settlement.

Many commuters were left stranded and had to seek alternative transport as South African bus operations came to a halt on Wednesday morning across the country after drivers went on strike over a wage dispute with employers.

Drivers in the bus sector affiliated to the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) on Wednesday downed tools at 6 am and embarked on a national strike after wage negotiations with employer bodies, Commuter Bus Employers Organisation and South African Bus Employers Association (Sabea), reached a deadlock.

The drivers are demanding a 12 percent wage increase while the employers are offering seven percent.

In a statement, Nzimande said that parties involved must find a solution inspired by a common desire to make the bus industry a reliable, attractive and safe public transport mode.

“The only reasonable outcome that government expects from the negotiations is the immediate resumption of bus operations, whilst labor and employers are finding a permanent solution to the impasse,” he said.

Nzimande said that he was observing with a keen interest in the negotiations aimed at ending this bus strike.

– African News Agency (ANA)