Saftu members gathering near Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, before embarking on a general strike and marching against R20 minimum wage. PHOTO: Siphelele Dludla/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of workers draped in red on Wednesday mocked President Cyril Ramaphosa, accusing him of short changing South African workers.

The workers gathered in Newton, Johannesburg to heed a call by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) for a nationwide strike against a proposed R20 per hour minimum wage.

Some of the marchers hoisted up replicas of the buffalo, one of South Africa's big five animals, a snide indirect attack on Ramaphosa, a wealthy former businessman who once purchased a buffalo for R2 million.

Most of the workers were members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and other unions affiliated to Saftu. 

VIDEO: Striking workers rubbish the R20 per hour minimum wage proposed by the government through placards. Newton, Johannesburg. Getrude Makhafola

A few supporters of the militant opposition Economic Freedom Fighters also joined the crowd. The "red berets", as they are popularly known, openly pledged their support to the Saftu march.

Saftu, a rival of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, has organised the nationwide strike in Johannesburg, Polokwane, Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. 

Memorandums are expected to handed over at various government departments and offices of provincial premiers.

The general strike comes as commuters grapple with a protracted bus drivers' strike that has entered a second week.

African News Agency/ANA