Written by on February 14, 2024

Written by: Selaki Ledwaba


The National Union of Metal Workers (NUMSA) calls on employers in the bus passenger sector to make a meaningful offer to prevent a national strike. This is as NUMSA had announced to have reached a deadlock and declared a dispute against employers at the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC).

The union took part in the first round of pay negotiations, which took place from February 5th to Friday 9th under the auspices of (SARPBC). NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi Majola said NUMSA is in talks with two employer associations, the South African Bus Employers Association (SABEA) and the Commuters Bus Employers Association (COBEA).

The Core demands of NUMSA and other unions include full compulsory healthcare for all workers in the industry, an increase in the allowance for the double driver from R450 to R900 and a 10% increase across the board.

PUTCO, Bojanala’ Algoa, Great North Transport, and others are among the bus firms that belong to the SARPBC.

“We were taken aback by the Employers response in that despite us having submitted our demands early in December 2023, and the unions motivating for their demands, in January 2024, the bosses came unprepared to respond to our core demands.” says Hlubi Majola

“The current agreement is going to expire on the 31st of March therefore we have no choice, but to act with speed to try and resolve this round of wage talks. This is why we decided to declare a dispute because it became clear that we are not finding each other on the demands outlined above and employers are not prepared to even respond to our core demands.” She added.

In an interview with Newzroom-Afrika, Hlubi-Majola said they’ll be engaging union members on Wednesday to get a mandate from them. She says they hope employers will reach a meaningful agreement and that workers do not resort to strike action because workers suffer during strike action as well as commuters, as this is a sector that transports millions of South Africans.

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