13 April 2017 - Commuters have been standing in queues since 5am, some saying they arrived as early as 3am already at the Khayelitsha Site C taxi rank after a nationwide bus strike left millions stranded ahead of the Easter weekend.
JOHANNESBURG, April 13 – Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi said on Thursday that his department has had to engage taxi associations to extend their services to cater for more commuters in a bid to temporarily relieve pressure from bus commuters.
This comes as a nationwide bus strike over salaries and working conditions entered a second day on Thursday, leaving commuters, especially long distance travellers, stranded across the country on the eve of the Easter holidays.
Maswanganyi said the department had urged all provincial departments responsible for transport to issue temporary and special operating licenses for other modes of transport, notably, taxis, as a temporary measure to address the peak demand.
The call for transport assistance helped relieve the pressure in Khayelitsha Site C taxi rank on Thursday morning. Reporter Athi Mtongana was in the area monitoring the situation.
Maswanganyi said he was concerned that labour and employers had failed to reach an agreement in negotiations.
“Regrettably, the prolonged strike continues to inconvenience commuters who should travel to various destinations, including to religious pilgrimages during this Easter weekend,” Maswanganyi said.
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Maswanganyi further said that the only reasonable outcome that government expects from the negotiations was the immediate resumption of bus operations while labour and employers seek to find a permanent solution to the impasse.
For those whose travel plans involved long distances to the coastal areas, the Prasa Shosholoza Meyl increased their capacity on routes they are currently servicing. The routes include Johannesburg to Cape Town, Johannesburg to Durban, and Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth.