By KHETSIWE KHUMALO | 2021-10-16
THE National Road Transport Council (NRTC) has urged all public transporters to end their protest and return to work today. This was announced by NRTC Chairperson Sihlangu Nhlabatsi yesterday during a press conference held at their offices in Mbabane. Nhlabatsi revealed that they had an open dialogue with the Acting Prime Minister Themba Nhlanganiso Masuku concerning the demands and issues raised by transport workers.
“We discussed issues raised by transport workers with government. We ask that transport workers return to work as we continue to engage government on political, administrative and employee and employer demands and issues specified in the petitions,” said Nhlabatsi.
He said they had greatly noted the challenges faced by commuters and are apologetic to the public which was without transport on Wednesday and yesterday. “After meeting with the acting prime minister today (yesterday), we had a chance to both look at the troubles faced by the transport workers and I am happy to say that the meeting went well, there is a lot that we too were enlightened on.
It was concluded that we will address the issues that could be resolved now and will work on the ones that need time in due course,” said Nhlabatsi. The chairperson further added that they are aware of the challenges faced or have been faced by public transporters in that they had been greatly affected by the effects of COVID-19, the closing of schools and the political unrest.
He said they noted the demand of the immediate release of the jailed Members of Parliament Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza, and Mthandeni Dube, reiterating that if they are not released working conditions will continue to be hard. “We notified government of this and were told that things needed to be handled in a manner that respects certain processes.
However, some of the complaints were understood and responses were given. Public transport operators requested that dilapidated roads be fixed, of which government has said they will share plans on the rehabilitation of roads,” said Nhlabatsi. He added that government has promised to prioritise all the demands and issues that have been specified in the petitions, however, reiterating that some will require more time.
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