As the national bus strike enters its third day with no end in sight, Metrorail has announced massive delays of 60 minutes across its network on Friday.
The rail company said there were delays of more than 60 minutes heading into Cape Town, due to signal failures between the Cape Town, Mutual/Pinelands/observatory and Ysterplaat lines. It has advised that commuters make alternative travel arrangements.
Minibus taxis are also strained as commuters rely on this as an alternative mode of transport.
On Thursday, unions representing thousands of employees of the bus industry and their employers, did not reach an agreement regarding their wage dispute. Both parties were deadlocked in a negotiation for hours despite intervention by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
On Friday morning, there was still no word as to how long the bus strike will continue for. Neither MyCiti or Golden Arrow bus services have updated their official sites or social media channels with any information regarding the duration.
Metrorail has also come under fire by Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, for its failure to service South African reliably.
“Some people are treating PRASA like an ATM. It prioritises everything else, except the provisioning of safe affordable rail transport,” said Nzimande. He also added that PRASA, which owns Metrorail, is a “mess”.
SATAWU, one of four unions representing over 17 000 bus drivers across South Africa, has stated it would not disclose if there was a new wage offer on the table. Unions have demanded a 12% increase in wage, while employers are offering 7%. Other demands relating to working hours and equal pay for duel drivers have also been made.
#MyCiTiAlert: As at 2.45pm today our services are still suspended because of the national strike. We will tweet updates when new information becomes available. You can also call 0800 65 64 63 for updates
— MYCITI bus (@MyCiTiBus) April 19, 2018
UPDATE #BusStrike negotiations have adjourned for the evening they resume tomorrow morning.
— silindelo masikane (@Slindelo_M) April 19, 2018
#Metrorail‘s entire service in the Western Cape is affected by a signal power failure this morning. The company’s central control centre can’t detect, track or send out trains at all. So not only is there a #BusStrike but no trains as well. Taxis are your best bet!
— Rauby (@GraemeRauby) April 20, 2018