S. African bus drivers feeding high-speed rail go on strike

8th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Drivers operating feeder buses to South Africa's high-speed train service went on strike Monday, only six days after a new link between Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria opened, an official said.

"We don't have any buses running this morning but the trains are operating as normal," Errol Braithwaite, a spokesman for the Bombela Operating Company, which runs the service, told AFP.

The drivers are demanding a wage increase from 4,600 rand ($660, 467 euros) to 5,000 rand a month, a transport allowance and medical aid.

The drivers have complained that, in comparison to their wages, train drivers earn about 21,000 rand per month.

"We hope it will only be a one-day strike. We hope it will be sorted today," said Braithwaite.

The Gautrain link between the country's commercial hub Johannesburg and Pretoria was opened on August 2.

The first route was opened on June 8, 2010, just in time for the FIFA World Cup, between the central business district of Sandton, north of Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport.

© 2011 AFP

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