Mass meeting over Satellite Bus Rank
BY LUCKY TSABEDZE
MANZINI – The Swaziland Transport Allied Workers Union (STAWU) has called a mass meeting over the Manzini Satellite Bus Rank.
The meeting will be held at the SNAT Centre in Manzini today starting at 10am.
The meeting will address the relocation of some kombis and buses to the Manzini Satellite Bus Rank. This was announced by the Secretary General of the union, Simanga Shongwe.
This, therefore, means that there will be no public transport for the duration of the meeting.
Shongwe said there is lack of political will to solve or end the Satellite Bus Rank impasse from the authorities.
In a statement released last night the trade union wrote: "In reluctance of the political will from the relevant government ministries that were petitioned on this matter, the union has since resolved to pursue the matter in terms of Section 40 of the Industrial Act, 2000 as amended.
"Members of the union and affected parties have been advised to attend a meeting set to be held in the SNAT Centre at 10am."
Also on the agenda will be the alleged brutality of the police on members of the union.
Two members of the union were allegedly detained at the Satellite Bus Rank as they prepared to address their members on Monday.
Meanwhile, a meeting which was to take place at the bus rank was cancelled after the police told the members that they had to seek permission before convening a meeting.
In a separate interview last night, Shongwe added that they will also discuss the notice for a strike action that they will file with government’s labour department.
Council happy with operators’ response
MANZINI – The Manzini City Council has said it is happy with the response it has seen from the public transport operators since they were moved to the Satellite Bus rank on Monday this week.
The council’s Public Relations Officer, Mathokozo Twala said the organisation had noted that since Monday, operations at the Satellite Rank were almost normal as buses were ferrying people.
"We have noted with excitement that public transport operators resumed operation at the Satellite Bus Rank from the Monday, and they were also even working on Tuesday. We sincerely hope that this will be status quo even in the coming days," said Twala last night.
He added that yesterday no complaints were reported to the municipality. Twala also mentioned that the city council is ready to make the stay of east-bound public transport operators at the bus rank comfortable as possible.
He said the exit of the rank is being expanded to allow buses to turn and join the Ngwane Park – city centre road without any problem.
"We are an organisation that is prepared to listen to complaints. We were told that buses had difficulty making a turn to join the road at the exit because it is a sharp bend, we looked at the problem and quickly addressed it."
"We have changed the platforms: we have allocated buses the platforms towards the river, and kombis will make use of the platforms near the police post. This will make buses exit the bus rank easier, and not cause traffic congestion. Kombis can afford to make quick turns to join the road," said Twala.
On another note, buses were operating yesterday, however at about 6:30pm there were commuters who were stranded at the bus rank.
Unlike on Monday buses operated throughout the day.ã€€
...SNAT has interest - Mhlanga
MANZINI – The Secretary General of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Muzi Mhlanga, said the organisation has an interest in the matter of the Satellite Bus Rank.
Mhlanga said the Swaziland Transport Allied Workers’ Union asked for permission to use the SNAT Centre.
"They asked for permission, and we allowed them to use it. However, as an association we have an interest in the matter.
"Though members may not attend this meeting because we will have our meeting later on in the day as SNAT members, I will probably be inside the STAWU meeting before the other SNAT members arrive," said Mhlanga.
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