S.African bus drivers feeding high-speed train to end strike

9th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Striking bus drivers operating feeder transport to South Africa's high-speed rail service will return to work after a one-day stayaway, the train operator said Tuesday.

The bus drivers launched their illegal strike on Monday six days after the Gautrain, Africa's first high-speed rail line, opened a new link between the country's commercial hub Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria on August 2.

"Gautrain is pleased to confirm that we have received a letter from a representative of the striking bus drivers which confirms that the strikers have agreed to return to work tomorrow," said Errol Braithwaite, a spokesman for the Bombela Concession Company, which runs the service.

"It is therefore anticipated that all train and bus services will operate normally per schedule from tomorrow."

No trains were affected by Monday's strike and the bus service, which transports commuters to and from train stations, was scheduled not to run Tuesday as it was a South African public holiday (Women's Day), said Braithwaite.

"Gautrain once again apologises to those customers who were inconvenienced by the illegal strike action yesterday."

The drivers were demanding a pay hike from 4,600 rand ($631, 442 euros) to 5,000 rand a month, a transport allowance and medical aid.

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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