Strikers run amok in Cape Town

2011-08-16 13:03
Cape Town - Striking municipal workers have protested in central Cape Town, knocking over bins, setting fires, and looting street vendors' stalls.

About 2 000 striking Samwu members marched from the City Hall along Darling and then Adderley streets, where some of them knocked over refuse bins and set fire to their contents.

Some vehicle windows were smashed, and stores on Adderley Street closed their doors.

Street vendors were also attacked, and some of their merchandise, including suitcases, caps, watches, cigarettes, sweets, cosmetics and milk powder, were stolen.

Stall holder Nohuzuko Mpande of Goodwood estimated she had R1 000 or more of suitcases stolen by demonstrating municipal workers in red T-shirts, Olivia Rose-Innes reported.

Mpande said she saw one of the demonstrators hit the female stall holder next to her before also stealing some of her merchandise.

"They can strike, but they can’t hurt the people like this. And why weren’t the police here earlier to stop this?"

The strikers then moved towards the Civic Centre, where they handed a list of grievances and wage demands to Cape Town Deputy Mayor Ian Nielsen on Monday.

Samwu is demanding an 18% wage increase, while employers are offering 6.08%.

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