A nationwide strike will see the MyCiTi bus service suspended, from Wednesday, April 18, until further notice.

The strike, which will affect the entire South African bus industry, comes as a result of deadlocked wage negotiations, with unions – who are party to the South African Road Passengers Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) – giving notice of their intention to embark on strike action.

The City of Cape Town has been notified that the Vehicle Operating Companies (VOCs) operating the MyCiTi service, will action a lock-out from midnight on Wednesday in an effort to ensure the safety of commuters and personnel for the duration of the strike. This means that commuters will have no trunk or feeder services until the strike comes to an end.

Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron, said: “We regret the inconvenience caused and the pressure it adds on commuters to make alternative travel arrangements. The strike will have a serious knock-on effect on all public transport and road-based traffic as more than 72 000 commuters make use of the MyCiTi service on any given weekday. Furthermore, we anticipate that the strike action will have a severe impact on Cape Town’s commuters who are already taking strain due to the challenges that Metrorail is experiencing with the Central line.”

The strike will see an increase in vehicles on Cape Town’s road network, as commuters seek alternative transport. Herron has called on private businesses in Cape Town to consider implementing “flexible working hours or remote working arrangements for employees where possible and practical for the duration of the strike action”. “It will bring great relief if private businesses would allow their employees to work remotely from satellite offices for a number of days or hours; or to allow employees to begin and end working at different times; or to work from home during the peak and then to travel to work during the off-peak.”

Herron suggests commuters consider taxis as an alternative mode of transport; or for those living further out of the city, car-pooling with those working or living close to each other.

“I am requesting the parties to return to the bargaining table and to start working on an agreement that will be to the benefit of all – not only for the sake of the employees and employers, but more so for the commuters who rely on buses to get to work and school,” concludes Herron.

Commuters can visit the MyCiTi website for regular updates; follow the service provider on Twitter @MyCiTiBus; or contact the 24/7 Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63.