STRIKERS NOW FEEL THE PINCH

MICHAEL Mabaso, a Transnet employee, says he will have to dig into his savings to survive this month.

MICHAEL Mabaso, a Transnet employee, says he will have to dig into his savings to survive this month.

Mabaso, a father of five, was among thousands of rail workers who downed tools over wages almost two weeks ago.

The workers are expected to resume work soon after their unions, the United Transport and Allied Workers Union and South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, accept Transnet's 11percent salary increase this week.

The unions were still consulting their members over the offer yesterday.

Mabaso, who has been working as a driver for the past 29 years, said the no-work-no-pay strike would hit him and his family very hard.

"I will forfeit at least 10 days' worth of my salary. It is not going to be easy. I have no choice but to use my savings to survive this month," Mabaso said .

His youngest child, who matriculated last year, did not register for further studies this year because there was no money.

A sole breadwinner, Mabaso said he could not pay for other things his family needed "because the salary is not enough". He takes home R4 800 after deductions.

Transnet said yesterday Satawu had asked to postpone to today a meeting meant to finalise the agreement.

Economists said the strike by both Transnet and Metrorail workers could cost the economy billions of rands.

"Cabinet expressed the hope that the parties would do their best to reach a settlement sooner rather than later to avoid the huge cost to the economy and the untold inconvenience to commuters," government spokesperson Thabo Maseko said on Wednesday.

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