CAPE TOWN– South Africa’s Cabinet has urged all parties in the public transport sector involved in wage negotiations to act speedily so that the bus strike gripping the country can be resolved.
Now in its second week, the bus strike has left thousands of commuters stranded, with many being forced to use other modes of more expensive transport. The parties remain deadlocked and the Department of Labour is expected to weigh in to speed up the negotiations.
Bus drivers are demanding a 9.5 per cent salary increase in the first year and 9.0 per cent in the second year. They initially demanded 12 per cent, with their employers offering 7.0 per cent.
At its weekly meeting here Thursday, the Cabinet was also briefed on the current public sector service wage negotiations, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane told a media briefing here after the meeting. The Cabinet wants all wage negotiations in the public sector to be urgently concluded, she added.
The Cabinet calls on all stakeholders in the public transport sector to bring a speedy end to the national bus strike. We urge all parties to return to the negotiation table so as to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all parties and the country, Mokonyane said.
In the public sector, wage talks have already dragged on for more than seven months. The eight unions representing teachers, nurses and other government employees have warned they won’t tolerate any more delays.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK