Johannesburg - As factory doors remained shut on Friday, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant met with striking metalworkers to push towards a settlement to resolve the week-long strike that has crippled the metals and steel sector.
Talks between the National Union of Metalworkers SA (Numsa) and employer body the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of southern Africa (Seifsa) over contested wage increases had reached a stalemate.
“We met with the minister on our own to explain to her what our challenges are,” said Adelia Pimentel, the spokeswoman for Seifsa.
“I think the government getting involved is a very good thing,” she said.
In some parts of Spartan and Isando, on Gauteng’s East Rand, there were sporadic reports of violence.
By on Friday, Gauteng police had arrested 26 people for intimidation, public violence and malicious damage to property. Sapa reported that of these 19 had been arrested in Elandsfontein on the East Rand after protesters broke the gate of a business. When police arrived, the crowd stoned their vehicles. Police used rubber bullets.
In Benoni 2 000 striking workers forced their way into a company and damaged equipment and computers worth millions. In nearby Wadeville, nine people were arrested for allegedly breaking windows at a business premises.
On social media the grim story of a dog that had been torched in a Numsa rampage in Booysens trended on Twitter.