Commuters affected by a national bus strike have resorted to using loan sharks to pay for their daily transport, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Thursday.
"I'm afraid this is stacking up problems for the future, because they are now using expensive money to get to work and the loan sharks will have to be repaid," chamber member Michael Bagraim said in a statement.
"The workers will feel the effects of the strike long after it has ended."
He said the "big winners" in the strike were the minibus taxi industry and loan sharks, while the "losers" were ordinary commuters.
"The strike is not hurting the bosses nearly as much as the ordinary workers of Cape Town," Bagraim said.
He said strikers would also be adversely affected.
The SA Transport Workers' Union (Satawu) said on Thursday the strike would be stepped up after it rejected a bargaining council proposal.
"There are no new developments in the strike, it is still going on and we will intensify our efforts," Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga said.
Commuter Bus Employers' Organisation spokesman Barry Gie said no talks were planned with unions "anytime soon".
"We are now taking instructions on how to proceed," he said.
Masoga said on Tuesday the proposal would not be discussed with workers.
"The proposal has nothing exciting [in it]. We have looked at it and it doesn't meet the criteria to be discussed," he said.
Gie said on Monday the bargaining council tabled the proposal on Friday.
On Friday, Gie said employers increased their offer from 6.5 percent to eight percent, across the board, for workers earning R23.50 an hour or less, and to 7.5 percent for those earning more.
He said unions had reduced their demands from 18 to 13 percent. However, Masoga said at the time the union had reverted to its former demands after the talks deadlocked.