SOUTH AFRICA: MINISTERS CALL FOR NEOGTIATED SETTLEMENT TO END BUS STRIKE

PRETORIA-- South Africa's Ministers of Transport and Labour have called on parties involved in the ongoing bus strike to come to a negotiated settlement.

Transport Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant have met with representatives of organised labour and employers in the bus industry, where they were briefed by both parties on their bargaining positions aimed at ending the protracted bus strike.

The Ministers noted progress in negotiations and appreciated the fact that both parties are determined to resolve the impasse swiftly, with concessions already made from the original positions held by both parties prior to the negotiations.

Both Ministers called on all parties involved to find a negotiated settlement under the allowable rules and regulations in the interest of all South Africans.

Now in its second week, the bus strike has left thousands of commuters stranded, with many being forced to use other modes of more expensive transport.

In their joint statement, the Ministers said while they are not party to the negotiations, the only reasonable outcome that they expect from the negotiations is the immediate resumption of bus operations, while labour and employers are finding a permanent solution to the impasse.

Both Ministers will continue to observe the negotiations with keen interest and wished all involved best regards in concluding the negotiations.

Bus drivers involved in the strike are demanding a 9.5% salary increase in the first year and 9% in the second year. They initially demanded 12%, with their employers offering 7%.

The South African Transport Workers and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) announced last week that they will be intensifying strike action this week. Last week, negotiations deadlocked with unions refusing to back down from their demands.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK