News24

King Zwelithini calls for strike end

2010-08-28 18:18

Johannesburg - King Goodwill Zwelithini on Saturday called on government and unions to safeguard the country's image by ending the public sector strike.

"I appeal to the government and the public sector unions to safeguard the image of this country...resolve (the strike) as a matter of urgency," he said.

South Africa came out of the World Cup with a positive image, only for it to be tarnished by the industrial action, he said.

Zwelithini said the strike threatened to cripple the education and health sectors, which were both vital to the functioning of the country.

Schoolchildren had too much free time by not being in school.

"My greatest fear is that many children who are loitering around may end up getting involved in drug trafficking. These kids run a risk of getting pregnant during this period."

About 1.3 million public servants are participating in a nationwide public sector strike for an 8.6% salary increase and R1 000 monthly housing allowance.

They rejected an offer of a 7% increase and a R700 housing allowance.

The mass action resulted in the shut down of numerous schools and the postponement of preliminary matric exams in some provinces.

State hospitals were also severely disrupted.