JOHANNESBURG - Marchers have gathered in Cape Town ahead of a march on Parliament as part of the general strike organised by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).
By mid-morning a number of workers, clad in red Saftu T-shirts had gathered in Keizergracht Street for the march against the planned national minimum wage of R20 per hour, or R3,500 a month, as well as amendments to labour laws.
Saftu, a rival of the Congress of SA Trade Unions, has organised a nationwide strike in Johannesburg, Polokwane, Bloemfontein, Durban, East London and Cape Town, handing over memorandums at various government departments and offices of provincial premiers.
Earlier government and the SA Police Service had warned that no criminal behaviour will be tolerated during the marches around the country.
''The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) appeals to those who will be participating in the strike, to respect the rights of those who choose not be participate in such actions and to refrain from intimidation or any other form of criminal behaviour,'' said police spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
And acting Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS) director-deneral, Phumla Williams, said: “We call on all those participating in the marches across the various provinces to refrain from violence, destruction of property and intimidation. The rights of people who do not want to participate in the marches must be respected."
Government further called upon the convenors of the march to ensure that chaos does not ensue around Parliament, as this is a national key point, and the highest law-making arm of the State.
African News Agency/ANA