A bus rapid-transit station at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park. SOWETAN
A bus rapid-transit station at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park. SOWETAN

The national bus strike officially ended on Monday.

Phakamile Hlubi-Majola‚ National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) national spokeswoman, said on Monday night the strike had ended.

Labour unions in the bus sector have accepted a wage increment offer of 9% across the board‚ ending a prolonged national strike.

The offer is effective from April‚ while a second pay rise increment of 8% will be implemented from April 2019. There will also be allowances‚ including nightshift and subsistence‚ over both years.

Apart from Numsa, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union‚ the Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA, the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union and the Tirisano Transport and Services Workers Union were involved in the strike.

Greyhound and Citiliner announced on social media that their bus services would start resuming from Monday and all routes would be operational from Wednesday.

Commuters have been advised to ensure that they check with call centres or offices for details.

“We would like to apologise to all of our passengers who have been affected by the nationwide bus strike and we look forward to welcoming you again on our coaches‚” Greyhound said on its Facebook page on Monday.

Bus drivers are officially expected to return to work on Wednesday‚ although most might be back behind the wheel on Tuesday.

The strike was close to being ended on Friday‚ but unions and employers butted heads over the date the increases would be effective, with employers wanting it from the date the agreement was signed and unions wanting it backdated to April.

The unions said in a joint statement on Monday they had consulted their members “from all the regions in different parts of the country. Our members have overwhelmingly accepted this offer.

“Employers finally agreed to backdate the offer for it to be implemented on April 1 2018. This was a sticking point which initially prevented us from ending the strike on Friday.

“After much lobbying we finally convinced the employers to backdate the implementation of the offer‚” the unions said in the statement.

“We want to thank our members for their militant discipline throughout the strike. They were resolute and determined throughout and we honour them for their huge sacrifice.

“The strike began on April 18 and since then they have given up their wages in order to secure better conditions. We salute them‚” the unions said.

“Workers are officially expected to return to work on Wednesday‚ May 16. However‚ we expect most of them to begin to return to work from tomorrow [Tuesday]‚” they added.