Cape Town – The MyCiTi bus service has been disrupted due to an illegal strike by some bus drivers who are employed by the Vehicle Operating Companies (VOCs) operating the MyCiTi bus routes. The drivers were waiting on the steps of the Cape Town Civic Centre on Monday where they had gathered as part of their wildcat strike.
The drivers said they were waiting for Mayoral Committee member for Transport and Urban development Brett Herron.
“We were told that Brett Herron is not available to meet us but we are not moving until our demands are met,” bus driver Patrick Mabindisa said.
Workers were complaining about the poor working conditions they face. Some said that they do not have proper facilities and that the buses that they drive are very unsafe.
“We get paid peanuts.
“Some drivers get paid R72 an hour; I get paid R52 an hour. We have been subjected to poor and unsafe working conditions,” Mabindisa said.
There are currently no buses operating on routes A01, T01, T03, T04, 101, 102, 103,104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 230, 251, 260, 261, 262 and a limited services on routes T02, D01, D02, D03, D04, @MyCiTiBus tweeted earlier on Monday.
The strike is expected to add more strain on commuters already suffering under an unreliable rail transport system.
Stun grenades were eventually fired by police to disperse the protesters.
It is unclear for how long the illegal strike will continue, and when the MyCiTi service will be able to resume normal operations the City said.
They also added that they are monitoring the situation, and will inform commuters accordingly.
Hertzog Boulevard was closed to incoming traffic this morning after the striking drivers gathered on the red bus lane outside of the Civic Centre station in the central business district, intimidating those bus drivers who were still fulfilling their duties. Vehicular traffic and MyCiTi buses operating on the N2 Express routes from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha have been diverted along other routes.
“I am concerned about the illegal strike and the impact it has on commuters who are already taking strain due to the ailing rail service. I was also alerted to incidents where some strikers intimidated their colleagues who are not participating in their illegal strike. This is unacceptable,” said Herron.
“I urge the VOCs and their employees to meet as soon as possible. These engagements must be facilitated through the appropriate channels so that the impasse can be resolved. We need the MyCiTi service to resume operations as soon as possible, and without any disruptions.”