What can be as discouraging as being caught up in a heavy on the first day of the week? The report has it that the Umlazi and KwaMashu townships in KwaZulu-Natal faced a very heavy traffic this morning as bus drivers were seen blocking some of the roads with their vehicles.
Haven taken up a three days strike over their unpaid salaries and bonuses, the bus drivers who were said to have returned to work after reaching an agreement with the eThekwini Municipality, were seen today closing some of the major routes.
The municipality and the drivers reached an agreement on payments due them on Friday after a series of negotiations about overdue salaries and bonuses.
According to Superintendent Sbonelo Mchunu of Durban’s metro police, the city woke up to severe gridlock at three intersections in the city. “The city is currently experiencing three blockages, one at all the Umlazi exits [near the N2]; one on the M4 near the old airport, and the third on the M25 north of Durban,” he said.
Mchunu further assured that the roads will soon be cleared as he has ordered the clearing of the road. “We have sent our members to clear traffic, especially in the Umlazi area which is suffering severe gridlock,” he said.
Meanwhile, police provincial spokesperson, Thulani Zwane has urged motorists to use alternative routes to avoid the congestion.
“The Malandela Road is blocked with these buses as well as the Mangosuthu highway in Umlazi. So, we are appealing to the motorist that they must please use other alternative routes to come to town,” Zwane said.
The spokesperson of the Municipality, Tozi Mthethwa assured that all bus drivers employed by Transnet will be paid their January salaries by Tuesday. He also urged motorists to be sure they stayed clear of the routes blockaded.
“We would like motorists to be aware of traveling in routes that have been disrupted or blockaded and use alternative routes if possible – also commuters who rely heavily on the bus operations to get to work, school and back home to consider alternative arrangements. City officials are busy as we speak effecting the payments. We hope that by tomorrow afternoon, all the payments will be made and the service will be restored,”
Hundreds of motorists bus and taxi passengers are stuck in traffic leading from various townships after bus drivers blocked major routes with their buses our reporter said.