Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Court rules against Rea Vaya strike

Rea Vaya bus drivers will be back at work on Tuesday after the Labour Court ruled that Monday’s strike action was illegal.

The company that operates Rea Vaya for Johannesburg’s bus-rapid transit (BRT) system applied for an urgent court interdict against the striking bus drivers on Monday afternoon. The court found the strike was illegal.

“The strike is officially over and the workers have agreed to return to work as per court order,” Rea Vaya said in a statement.

It apologised to commuters who had arrived at BRT stations on Monday morning to find no tickets were being sold. Services would resume on Tuesday and those who took part in the strike would be punished.

“Disciplinary action will be instituted against drivers who participated in the illegal and unprotected industrial action. Rea Vaya apologises to all passengers for the inconvenience experienced today [Monday].”

Monday’s protest followed another one earlier this month when drivers called for union recognition. The drivers had wanted the city to recognise their union, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).

However, Samwu distanced itself from Monday’s strike, calling on drivers to go back to work.

“The union did not organise the strike action by BRT workers. Workers took it on themselves to go on this strike action,” Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema said.

“It is illegal and it is not protected. They would stand the risk of losing their jobs.”

Democratic Alliance transport spokesperson Nico de Jager condemned the strike as having “no legal standing” and criticised Samwu’s involvement in the privately owned BRT system.

“The problem comes in where you have a municipal workers’ union that operates and mobilises on behalf of a private company.

“Samwu should never have been mandated to act on behalf of the BRT drivers in Johannesburg. This could lead to the downfall of the BRT.” — Sapa

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, you can a full year’s access for just R510. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

‘Terribly scary’: Dysfunctional municipalities are a threat to South Africa’s...

The country’s local governments are a drag on investment, a strain on the fiscus and pose a critical sovereign risk

Local elections 2021: A visual guide on what to expect

What are the biggest election issues where you live? M&G explains all

South Africa must approach its energy transition pragmatically

A sensible climate policy must balance the imperative of decarbonisation, socioeconomic policy and security of supply considerations

Why handing over ICC suspects could help Sudan’s transition

A failed coup in September, weeks of brinkmanship, and a looming crisis in eastern Sudan have laid bare tensions between civilians and military leaders

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…