JHB Metrobus may cut trips as petrol runs dry

Johannesburg’s Metrobus may have to reduce its service due to the petrol strike.

 

Metrobus spokesperson Esther Dreyer told Fin24 on Tuesday that 90% of their busses were operational and she did not believe there would be too much disruption.

 

“At the moment, everything is fine,” she said. “It all depends on the petrol supply, so it is important to warn our passengers.”

 

This comes after Metrobus released a statement on Monday evening warning customers that the petrol strike had impacted its operations.

 

“Due to strike action at refineries, our fuel supplier is unable to deliver fuel to our depots,” it said.

 

“At this stage, our depots are already running low on fuel supplies and as a result, we may be compelled to reduce our service.

 

“In view of the fuel crisis, therefore, we may not operate all scheduled trips as from (Tuesday) until further notice.”

 

Intimidation by striking union members at a major petrol hub in Pretoria has brought the depot to a standstill, which has resulted in petrol stations running dry in northern Gauteng on Monday.

 

That is according to Fani Tshifularo, executive director at the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia), in a telephonic interview with Fin24 on Monday.

 

Wage talks covering South Africa’s oil refineries and their distribution networks stalled last week as Ceppwawu, the largest of the three unions in the sector, called a strike on Thursday.

 

In a Fin24 poll, 31% of the 1060 voters said they had been affected by the strike, with many readers and Twitter users explaining that petrol pumps were dry in parts of Pretoria and northern Gauteng.

 

Sapia warned motorists not to panic and to stick to their usual filling routine, as a rush could worsen the situation as a spike in demand in Pretoria will quickly empty the pumps.

 

With its 15 000 members, Ceppwawu is pushing for a one-year agreement for 9%, while the National Petroleum Employers’ Association (NPEA) proposed a 7% increase this year and a consumer price index plus 1% increase next year.

 

The strike is ongoing and there has been no notice of suspension, Zimisele Majamane, deputy chair of the NPEA which bargains on behalf of the oil companies, told Fin24 on Monday.

 

Ceppwawu told eNCA on Monday that the pumps drama should make “logical sense to employers that common ground should be reached soon”.

 

“It is unfortunate that you cannot anticipate an action that does not have any negative impact,” said Ceppwawu head of collective bargaining Clement Chitja.

 

Source: Fin24