Satawu holds out as Metrorail resumes service

Several Metrorail trains will be running in Gauteng from Monday morning following a crippling wage hike dispute that left thousands of commuters stranded nationwide last week, Metrorail said on Sunday.

“Metrorail Gauteng region will resume a reduced train service on Monday, running approximately 32% service rates. This as a result of the continued strike by Satawu [South African Transport and Allied Workers Union] members,” said spokesperson Nana Zenani.

Trains will not be running fully due to a continued strike by members of Satawu, who have rejected the 10% wage offer from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Satawu members were demanding 13% and the union leadership was consulting with them over the weekend, said general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu.

“We will probably be through at around noon tomorrow [Monday],” Mahlangu told the South African Press Agency on Sunday night.

He said Satawu members would not return to work before an agreement is reached.

‘A good offer’
The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu), who accepted the offer as a “good offer” will return to work on Monday, said general secretary Chris de Vos.

“This means that only half of the Metrorail workforce, non-Satawu affiliated and non striking employees will be assisting in the running of the train services,” Zenani said.

The two unions began a strike on Monday that saw services shut down at Metrorail, Shosholoza Meyl and Autopax bus services across the country.

While trains will be running at “a reduced service” across Gauteng on Monday, there will be no trains running between Soulsville and Eerstefabrieke in Pretoria, Zenani said.

“Passengers travelling on this line will however be able to connect to Eerstefabrieke using the Mabopane to Eerstefabrieke trains with code number 93,” she said.

The Springs and Nigel line will also not be running because of stolen overhead cables, Zenani said.

“Metrorail has however provided buses for this area.”

Reduced service
Trains running between Pienaarspoort and Pretoria via the Rissik station will be running at a reduced rate.

“Metrorail train services will prioritise the morning and afternoon peak hours with almost no trains running during the day. No business express trains will be running,” she said.

She advised commuters to purchase weekly tickets “in conjunction with the running schedule to be available at the stations until such time that a full service has been restored”.

Commuters were also advised to check train schedules for changes in running times.

All Shosholoza-Meyl trains will be running as normal, she said.

The customer care line can be called on 0800 12 7070 for more information. — Sapa

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