Tshwane metro police unable to get spare keys to move buses still blocking city centre streets

29 July 2019 - 13:14
By Kgothatso Madisa
Striking municipality workers have blocked major roads in Tshwane
Image: 123RF Stock Image/ rawpixel Striking municipality workers have blocked major roads in Tshwane

Traffic in the Pretoria city centre was at a standstill well into the afternoon on Monday after employees of the City of Tshwane went on strike and municipal bus drivers blocked major streets with buses.

The municipal workers are demanding salary increases of up to 18%, backdated to 2017.

The blockade made it extremely difficult for traffic to flow, with motorists either parking their cars on the side of the streets as they were late for work by over three hours while others were trying to manoeuvre around the traffic gridlock.

Tshwane metro police had not been able move the buses after failing to secure spare keys. Earlier, Tshwane metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said they would  speak to the city to try and get the spare keys but said their attempts were unsuccessful when he gave an update.

The striking municipal workers had gathered the Tshwane House to deliver a memorandum of demands. They were also angered after reports that the city manager Moeketsi Mosola received a R7.5m payout after a deal was struck with the city’s council which will see him step down at the  end of this month.

On the buses, Mashamba earlier said: “Remember, they parked the buses and left, so we're trying to check if they can give us spare keys. These are city buses, they work for the city so we're engaging with the city for the spare keys."

Mashamba said the "whole CBD" was congested and motorists found it difficult to either enter or leave the city centre. He said anyone hoping to get to the Pretoria CBD must just "forget it".