Pretoria bus drivers embark on pay strike

Motorists and commuters in and around the Pretoria CBD are advised to use alternative transport routes due to a planned bus strike underway causing major traffic disruptions.

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) says Tshwane Bus Service employees are marching for an 18% pay increase.

Samwu Regional Secretary Mpho Tladinyane says, “The situation was provoked by the city itself. Workers have nothing to say, but just to demand their 18% and we demand that it be paid by close of business today. That is the only demand on the table.”

“We have no option, but to use those buses and converge at Tshwane House. What is going to happen now is workers are going to Tshwane House and commuters and members of the public are going to be affected. But, the fact remains that we are demanding our 18% today. The city manager gets R7-million and on top of that they pay him an additional 1%, but we are being treated differently.”

Meanwhile, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Roads and Transport in Tshwane Sheila Senkubuge has warned that the City will take disciplinary action against striking Tshwane Bus Service employees using the municipal property to disrupt the lives of ordinary citizens.

Senkubuge says although workers are allowed to embark on protest action, the City is working with law enforcement agencies to ensure buses are sent back to the depot.

“We cannot stop workers from taking part in a strike or any protest action if it is approved by the city, but one thing you absolutely cannot do is use the municipal property to disrupt the day to day functioning of everybody in the city; that cannot be accepted.”

Senkubuge adds: “So we are working with the TMPD to make sure that our buses go back to the depot. Yesterday (Sunday), the Acting City Manager sent out a notice to every employee in Tshwane and said today is a working day. Any member of staff who does not work will have to face disciplinary action. If you use municipal property, there will be a lot of trouble.”

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