The protracted bus strike continues to frustrate commuters in the Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape. Hundreds of commuters have been left stranded and forced to use over crowded taxis as an alternative.
This comes at a time when ECO Mobility and lift clubs are being promoted as part of the Transport Month initiative. Eco Mobility seeks to encourage citizens to abandon their private cars and use other modes such as public transport and bicycles to and from work.
“I’m really fed up because I stay far away and I’m now ought to walk a long distance for a taxi. This is unbecoming for us – especially this bus strike affects our budget… for us in Summerstrand we struggling because there is a few of us, now we have to take to taxis,” say some of the affected commuters.
Now with schools scheduled to re-open next week frustration is increasing. “It affects [us] especially educators and the learners, because we were allocated buses from different areas. Now learners have to pay double amount than normal. We are just wishing that the management of Algoa Bus Company and the workers could sit around the table and resolve the problem because it affects the community, particularly around New Brighton,” add other commuters.
A meeting between the employer and South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) members at the Algoa Bus Company has been planned for Thursday.
Algoa Bus Company CEO, Sicelo Duze, says, “The union have come back to us – we will be having a meeting [and we] hoping that the meeting will be able to resolve the issue that caused the strike.”
Some of the demands in the petition include transport assistance to workers attending funerals of their colleagues as well as amendments to the disciplinary code of the company.