The union was “sick” of the Prasabus operator, who had problems with unpaid salaries and headcount reductions.


Gallo Images / Beeld / Alet Pretorius

  • The two unions have accused South Africa’s passenger railroad corporation’s troubled bus operator Autopax of service outages and salary delays or shortages.
  • The union says Prasa is not considering filling vacancies with people who have accepted voluntary retirement benefits.
  • The union said transport minister Fikile Mbalula must update them about the fate of bus operators.

South Africa’s National Metalworkers’Union and South Africa’s Transport and Union Trade Union have had Prasa problems with service outages and payroll delays or short-term payments prior to a protest march to the company’s office on Wednesday. I blamed Pax.

In a joint statement released Wednesday, Satawu and Numsa said they were shocked to learn that all Autopax operations would be suspended as of Thursday because management did not explain.

The union marched to the Johannesburg headquarters, which has been plagued by recent financial difficulties and labor turmoil.

Earlier this year, 350 Autopax employees were affected by a split process carried out by Prasa to save costs. Prasa CEO Zolani Matthews said the process was on the card even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Autopax employees have repeatedly faced payroll delays and shortfalls due to the company’s financial struggle.

“Autopax continues to be said to be in financial difficulty, but the company hasn’t had a hard time finding passengers. The driver members have traveled thousands of times and the buses are always full. It’s clear that Autopax is collapsing. It’s a mismanagement. ”

The statement said management was unable to fund voluntary retirement benefits and had to suspend the reduction process under Article 189 of the Autopax Labor Relations Act. He added that more than 300 vacant seats in Prasa could be filled with Autopax workers.

“Our members are experiencing a very difficult time. It didn’t increase this year. In addition, Autopax hasn’t caught up with the statutory deductions, which means the fund hasn’t been paid. Their future is uncertain because of the suspension. ”

The statement added that employees deserve a response from Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula regarding the future of Autopax. They said Mubarra promised workers to fix Autopax and eradicate mismanagement.

“”[O]Members are fed up with the situation, “he added, adding that he intends to hand over a memorandum of understanding to the management of Mubarla, Prasa and Autopax on Thursday.

Prasa spokesman Bane Ndlovu said Thursday that he had not yet received a response during continued engagement with the staff. Nonpayment of salary was part of a contract with the Ministry of Transport and could not be commented, Ndlovu added.

“The cost structure is too high and the staff structure needs to be properly sized. [The] The process in Section 189 is almost complete, the fleet is obsolete, it is not economical to operate, and the operating model [is not] It’s efficient. ”

Ndlovu said the business plan approved by the board of directors submitted to the Ministry of Transport requires funding to form part of the Ministry of Transport’s involvement.

“There is no guarantee in this regard,” Nldovu said of the potential impact of the march on the Autopax business.

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The union was “sick” of the Prasabus operator, who had problems with unpaid salaries and headcount reductions.

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