Public transport in South Africa remains a public hazard 26 years into democracy.
Recent bus fare increases by Golden Arrow Bus Services in Cape Town add to the burdens that workers and their families are expected to carry.
SADTU and SATAWU have vowed to make submissions against the essentialisation of education and public transport sector
Trade unions in the bus industry are consulting with their members on a new wage offer from the employers.
The bus strike may continue into the long weekend. While a 9% salary increase has been agreed, other demands remain unresolved between unions representing bus drivers and employers.
Bus drivers went on a national strike demanding better working conditions that include salary increases, insourcing and medical aid benefits for the drivers.
The recent announcement by the government that the national minimum wage should be set at R3,500 a month has not settled well with some employees, including their labour organisations.
The contentious issue of the national minimum wage has been a subject of debate for many years the government, employers and labour unions. Labour unions feel that R3,500 is just a drop in an ocean in light of the current socio-economic situation plaguing the country.
Public Transport Voice, a community based organization in Khayelitsha has launched a campaign to fight the proposed ticket hike by Metrorail. The organisation says that about 4,000 people signed a petition against Metrorail’s annual ticket price increases in Khayelitsha.
Service workers at South Africa’s universities were outsourced since the late 1990’s after the ANC government adopted its GEAR economic policy. This meant that cleaners, security, transport and catering workers were no longer directly employed by univerities. They were now employed by outsourced companies, losing most of their benefits and earning less than half their wages.