Commuters seek lifts on Facebook as strike threatens Easter plans

Long distance bus commuters were stranded on Thursday ahead of the Easter weekend as bus companies were shut down due to a national bus strike.

Greyhound and Citiliner announced on their websites that they are refunding tickets for bookings made in advance.

On Wednesday the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said they would “intensify” their strike after they rejected a 9% wage increase offer by employers.

Striking unions‚ including the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and Numsa‚ are asking for a 12% increase as well as an increase in overtime pay.

Striking bus drivers at the Cape Town long distance terminal‚ who refused to let an Intercape bus leave‚ said their companies had no “urgency to assist” when buses have breakdowns.

“If the bus breaks down‚ I can stay there because they know they won’t pay us overtime‚” said one driver.

One driver called on President Jacob Zuma to “say something” on the strike.

“Zuma must talk. Why always a strike in South Africa before something can happen?” he said.

“Our president‚ he gets certain money‚ even us‚ we need a certain salary. We need a share of the money.”

Meanwhile‚ South Africans took the opportunity to find a lift‚ and perhaps make a friend. Many people took to Facebook‚ offering money for lifts over vast distances.

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