An elephant has a captive audience at the Pretoria Zoo. Workers at SA's national zoo are on strike since the past weekend. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - The strike at the National Zoo in Pretoria, which started on Saturday is continuing amid reports that striking workers intimidated their colleagues who were prepared to work.

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG), which employs the striking workers, on Tuesday said: "On 11 July 2017 the striking workers assaulted a non-striking employee of the National Zoo. They also intimidated and prevented some non-striking workers from entering the premises. There were also cases of damage to property. Litter was strewn at the entrance to the zoo".

The striking workers who are demanding overtime pay are affiliated to the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC).

The NGZ said the dispute relates to an agreement it signed in 2009 with various trade unions on the implementation of a seven-day workweek. 

"NTUC is now demanding that the agreement be cancelled and that employees be paid overtime for work performed during weekends," said NGZ spokesperson Craig Allenby .

"In terms of the signed agreement Saturdays are considered normal working days and employees receive overtime payment for Sundays."

Allenby said the National Zoo wanted to reassure the public that the management was doing its best to ensure the welfare of the animals and safety of visitors.

"All the animals are cared for and there is limited impact on other visitor services operations. The NZG is also asking for the public’s patience during this time where operations may have been disrupted."

The NTUC could not be immediately reached for comment.

- African News Agency (ANA)