The wheels came off for the bus services of Tshwane on Wednesday as National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) workers from Extremetec embarked on a strike.
Extremetec is responsible for fare collection services for the A Re Yeng bus rapid transit system and Tshwane Bus Service.
The bus services were expected to return to normal on Thursday, while Tshwane City prepared to meet with the unions and management following the strike.
Dikeledi Selowa, MMC for roads and transport for the City of Tshwane, said there were numerous contentious issues between the unions and management.
“The suspension follows a strike action by members of Numsa.
“The roads and transport department decided to cease operations to protect and prioritise the safety of commuters and residents,” Selowa said.
“We did have an incident in the morning, where one of our buses was hijacked and we had to retrieve the bus which was used to block off traffic.”
She said the city has engaged with Tshwane Rapid Transit (TRT) to take action for the violence experienced in the city.
“We had a meeting with the union a few weeks ago and with management and again meet today,” she said.
Selowa said school pupils were most affected by the strike. Numsa regional secretary for Hlanganani Jerry Morulane apologised for the inconvenience caused by the Extremetec strike.
“Our members feel compelled to embark on this drastic action because one of the core demands is the demand for transport allowance,” he said.
“Workers at Extremetec have to arrive at work at 4am and they knock off at 9pm and there is no reliable transport available at that time.” Morulane said workers spent a fortune paying for transport.
“Our members are demanding a transport allowance of R2500 and a nightshift allowance of R60 per hour,” he said.
Morulane said the transport allowance was a burning issue for workers who want to march to the city offices tomorrow.