TRANSPORT problems are finally over for Thekwini Bus Service commuters.

TRANSPORT problems are finally over for Thekwini Bus Service commuters.

This after new bus operator Transnat Africa confirmed yesterday that the buses would be back on the roads today.

Transnat Africa CEO Mike Jesserman said the breakthrough came when drivers came rushing in from Friday to reapply for their jobs.

The company's plans to start operating hit a snag for weeks because workers wanted all 1300 sacked drivers re-employed.

Jesserman said between Friday and yesterday he had hired more than 80 drivers, giving him enough drivers to resume operations.

"On Monday operations in the major townships around Durban, such a KwaMashu, Umlazi and Ntuzuma, would resume," he said.

Transnat Africa is the new bus operator appointed after the previous bus company, Remant Alton, appointed to run the city buses in 2003, closed shop in June.

The company experienced financial problems and dismissed all its drivers.

"We are ready to resume operations and have been ready for weeks and now that we have the drivers, the eThekwini bus service is finally going to operate efficiently," said Jesserman.

He said he planned to employ a further 100 drivers this week and put additional buses on the road and employ about 50 drivers over the next few weeks until he had the number he needed.

Jesserman said he was employing drivers on a first come, first served basis and assured drivers that they would earn what they were earning at Remant Alton.

The city had planned for the new operator to begin operations by June 20, but that did not happen after the unions threatened to disrupt operations.

They were demanding that the new operator employ all sacked drivers.

Transnat Africa would run the outer city buses only until October next year.

When asked to comment about the drivers who had gone behind his back and reapplied for their jobs, Transport and Allied Workers Union secretary Zack Mankge said the 83 drivers whom Jesserman claimed he had employed were not members of his union.

Mankge vowed that there would be no city buses until an agreement to employ all the drivers had been reached.