Tomorrow, 12th April, may see a major bus strike hitting the country if wage negotiations do not go well by midnight according to The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

Numsa, along with about 16 other trade unions have been locked down in negotiations with bus companies regarding wages and the working hours of drivers across the country.

Talks have been on going since February, but an agreement is yet to be reached between all parties as trade unions demand a 12% annual increase, but companies are offering 7.5% over three years.

The bus services to be affected should an agreement not be reached tonight include Gautrain, Putco, Rea Vaya, Mgqibelo, Mayibuye, Buscor, Megabus, Mega Express, Bojanala, Gauteng Coaches, Itereleng, Ipelegeng, Atamelang, Greyhound, Golden Arrow in the Western Cape and Autopax, which operates Translux and City-to-City long distance buses.

Scores could be affected

Should the strike go ahead tomorrow, it has the potential to seriously affect the movement of quite a number of South Africans.

According to StatsSA, 20.1% of local households use buses regularly. A total of 7.6% of the local workforce use buses to get to work.

Schools are closed, but tomorrow is the day opposition parties will be marching to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand that President Jacob Zuma step down from his position. The bus strike could likely affect travels heading there.

Numsa has urged commuters to make plans for alternative modes of transport should the bus strike go ahead.

[Image – City of Cape Town]