Train operations scaled down due to strike

Monday, August 17, 2009
By: 
Edwin Tshivhidzo

Pretoria - Metrorail's train operations countrywide have been scaled down as train drivers and technical staff strike over wages.

As a result, thousands of commuters will have to make alternative transport arrangements.

Speaking to BuaNews on Monday, Metrorail spokesperson Sibusiso Ngomane said they had put plans in place to ensure there was transport, even though it was on a low scale.

"As part of our contingency plans, we have arranged with bus companies to ferry those commuters with tickets.

"We are also looking at reviewing train rosters and cancellation of leave to boost our manpower," said Mr Ngomane.

Drivers affiliated to the United Transport and Allied Trade Union have stayed away from work in protest against a wage hike agreement of 8 percent.

Rail services in Gauteng have been running at about 87 percent while only 40 percent of train services have been running in Durban and about 30 percent is operational in the Western Cape.

Mr Ngomane said Metrorail was monitoring the situation to ensure that commuters were not completely stranded.

With regard to the demands by the striking Metrorail employees, Mr Ngomane said the management remained open for discussions.

"The management is prepared to engage in discussions to resolve the issue," he said.