Picture: MARK SMYTH
Picture: MARK SMYTH

Protesters planning to attend a march against President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday could find themselves stranded if they plan to use buses to get to Church Square in Pretoria.

On Tuesday the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said bus commuters should plan to make alternative arrangements.

Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi said: "All we can say is that we advise anyone planning to use a bus [on Wednesday] to make alternative arrangements. Unless we reach an agreement with the CEOs of bus companies‚ the strike is on."

The Gautrain also informed commuters via text message that the Gautrain bus service would be disrupted from Wednesday "until further notice due to the nationwide strike over wages".

"The train service will not be disrupted‚" the train operator said.

Opposition parties the DA‚ Congress of the People‚ IFP‚ EFF‚ African Christian Democratic Party‚ African Peoples’ Convention and United Democratic Movement intend to march to the Union Buildings to put pressure on President Jacob Zuma to step down.

The action comes just days after thousands of people across SA and abroad voiced their concern about Zuma’s leadership by marching in several cities.

The antiZuma sentiments gained momentum after his recent axing of finance minister Pravin Gordhan and deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas‚ resulting in two ratings agencies‚ S&P Global Ratings and Fitch, downgrading the country’s investment status to junk.

Numsa said in a statement that bus companies to be affected were those affiliated to the Southern African Bus Operators Association and the South African Bus Employers Association.

The companies include Putco‚ Mgqibelo‚ Mayibuye‚ Buscor‚ Golden Arrow‚ Megabus‚ Mega Express‚ Bojanala‚ Gauteng Coaches‚ Itireleng‚ Ipelegeng‚ Atamelang‚ Autopax‚ Great North Transport‚ Rea Vaya‚ Phola Coaches‚ PAL Bus and Greyhound.

Numsa is demanding overtime payment for working on Sundays and public holidays; a 15% salary increases; payment for time spent on a bus not driving in the case of co-drivers; and an end to long working hours.

TMG Digital

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