Union vows to halt bus service in Durban

The union representing sacked Remant Alton bus drivers has vowed to disrupt the bus service if the new operator refuses to employ all of them.

The union representing sacked Remant Alton bus drivers has vowed to disrupt the bus service if the new operator refuses to employ all of them.

The threat comes amid thousands of stranded Ethekwini bus commuters are anxiously awaiting today's decision by MEC for transport, community, safety and liaison Bheki Cele on how he will end their woes.

Transport and Allied Workers Union secretary Zack Mankge said yesterday the meeting he had with the new operator this week did not come up with a solution.

"We still stand by what we have been saying all along.

"We demand 100 percent employment of the drivers by the new operator and not a single driver should be left out by the new operator and until that is agreed, there won't be a bus service."

Cele promised on Tuesday that the long-awaited decision would be announced today.

He said by today all the recruitment and operational issues would have been sorted out.

Transnat Africa was appointed a week ago to take over from the embattled BEE company Remant Alton.

The company closed shop last month due to financial difficulties and retrenched 1300 drivers and other staff members.

Transnat chief executive officer Mike Jesserman yesterday said that they would begin with the recruitment process as from today and that hopefully the drivers would come in and apply.

"We are hoping that previous Remant Alton drivers would come in and apply so that we can absorb them."

Jesserman hinted that should they recruit an enough number of drivers for them to begin operation, some buses would be back on the roads by Monday.

The KwaZulu-Natal department of transport is today expected to make a decision on when the Durban's bus service will start running again.

The municipality and the provincial department of transport had planned and made commitment that the buses would be up-and-running when schools re-open on Monday.

However, labour issues and a court interdict application by local bus companies led to the new operator being unable to start.

Local bus companies claimed that the tender process involving the R300million deal to Transnat Africa had not been transparent.

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