Thousands march countrywide

2010-08-26 13:07
Johannesburg - Thousands of striking public servants took to the streets in mass marches countrywide on Thursday, vowing to continue with a disruptive strike that has pitted trade unions against the government.

In Johannesburg, workers danced, blew vuvuzelas, sang songs against President Jacob Zuma, and chanted: "We are going, we are going to Luthuli House."

"We will stop striking as soon as the government gives us what we want," said National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) member carrying a placard which read: "Zuma, I'm your Standard Two teacher".

Another poster read: "Prostitutes are earning more than teachers".

Will strike until demands met

Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) Gauteng provincial chairperson Phutas Tseki said its members were determined to push ahead with the strike that started last Wednesday.

"We are prepared to strike as long as our demands are not met. We hope that the government will respond. If it does not, the strike will continue," said Tseki.

A large police contingent watched the marchers as they headed to th office of Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

"We want the government to come forward with an improved offer," said Monica Venter, the Public Servants' Association provincial manager in Johannesburg.

"The reason why we are protesting is to show the government that the public servants are angry."

Slogans on marchers' T-shirts read: "Stop exploitation of our nurses", and "Defending workers' rights".

Peaceful march in Bloemfontein


In Bloemfontein, thousands of people marched peacefully through the Free State's town streets, also wearing colourful union T-shirts and carrying banners.

One placard read: "We behaved during the World Cup. Now reward us with 8.6 percent."

Cosatu and the Independent Labour Caucus were staging marches in all provinces to demand an 8.6% salary increase and R1 000 monthly housing allowance.

The government has offered them a seven percent salary increase and R700 housing allowance, excluding a 1.5% pay progression.

As 1.3 million union members stayed away from work, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) increased its support of hospitals.

Concerns for Aids patients


SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said 2812 soldiers had been deployed to help out at 47 hospitals countrywide.

Not only hospitals have been affected by the strike; many schools are closed throughout the country and several provincial education departments have postponed preliminary matric exams for two weeks.

The SA National Aids Council (Sanac) expressed concern on Thursday about the affects of the strike on HIV-positive people, saying it had received reports of patients struggling to get access to chronic medicine.

- Are you there? Anything to share? Send us your photos by clicking here.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  sandf  |  johannesburg  |  bloemfontein  |  strikes
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to idealise and prepare for the future rather than face the present. Right now life is putting challenges in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.