The knock-on effect of Transnet’s prolonged strike might extend to disrupted holiday travel plans. It may even lead to flight cancellations during the festive season.
The Airlines Association of South Africa (AASA) has raised concerns that the strike may result in a jet fuel shortage.
According to BusinessTech, the AASA CEO Aaron Munetsi said, “We are very concerned with the challenges faced amid the economically crippling strike by rail and harbour workers, including those that a jet fuel shortage would bring to our industry.”
The shortage will not only hurt the airline industry, but it will also hurt tourism during the busy holiday season.
The United Transport and Allied Trade Union, Transnet’s workers union, endorsed a three-year wage agreement on 17 October but that is no indication that Transnet workers are all back to work.
“The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said that it would continue to strike, asking for a higher wage increase than what was offered,” states BusinessTech.
Sawatu’s position reflects that the strike may still be ongoing.
Transnet has shared that it is “currently prioritising urgent and time-sensitive cargo, implementing recovery plans and working with industry and customers.”
The process may take weeks for the state-owned shipping company to sort through the current backlog.