UPDATE: Bus blockade cleared in South Durban

An aerial view of the traffic

The bus blockade that gridlocked the N2 and M4 into Durban at the old airport site has been cleared. Police confirmed that the buses have been moved and that traffic is again flowing. While it may take some time for the congestion to completely dissipate,  motorists are urged to exercise patience and proceed with caution.

This comes after hours of a traffic standstill which was backed up all the way down to Amanzintoti affecting thousands of commuters.

The cause of the havoc was the bus blockade by disgruntled bus drivers who claimed they were not paid their monthly salary for January. The bus drivers embarked on a number of blockades throughout Durban South, blocking the main traffic routes including the N2 and M4 northbound carriageways in the vicinity of the old Durban International Airport and Umlazi Mangosuthu Highway and Queen Nandi Drive and Malandela Road in KwaMashu were also affected.

A driver, who asked to remain anonymous said he and his fellow colleagues are blocking the major roads in protest for not getting paid in January. They are fed up with the way they have been treated by management.

The monthly minimum salary of a bus driver is about R8,000, a livelihood that many depend on to support their families. However this has been rendered nearly impossible to do since drivers have not been paid. Besides not being paid the issue of time wages was also brought up. The driver claimed that the company would disregard the overtime that drivers have worked and will only be paid for six hours.

A Durban South commuter,  Brahmanand Outar said his son was stuck in traffic for over an hour while he dropped off his grandchildren at school. “It brought the city to a standstill and many of us had no idea why this was happening. It would be helpful to know what the bus drivers were striking for,” he said

Commuters wait in the hot sun for traffic to move

Commuters wait in the hot sun for traffic to move

Lauren Beukes

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