Workers demonstrate at the entrance to the National Zoological Gardens. Picture: Goitsemang Tlhabye.

Pretoria - Educational trips for school children and visitors to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa had to be rescheduled as workers took to the entrance of the Zoo to picket over unfair treatment of employees.

Workers led by the National Trade Union Congress were given the go-ahead to picket by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration, as of May 21.

This as union branch secretary, Frans Rasethe, said labour representatives had been unable to get management to pay all its employees equally and for working conditions at the Zoo to be improved.

Rasethe said members complained about the lack of medical aid and housing allowances not being paid to them since they were transferred to the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) since April 1 2018.

Workers demonstrate at the entrance to the National Zoological Gardens. Video: Goitsemang Tlhabye

According to Rasethe, since the transfer from the National Research Foundation no benefits had been paid to workers consisting of personnel from the cleaning, conservation and or feeding, finance and landscape departments.

“We tried to speak to the CEO and they informed us they don't have the authority to release the funds, hence our president attempted to seek assistance from the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries.”

“We will strike until our demands are met as it’s not fair for some people to work seven days and receive overtime pay while others don’t get it.”

He said they were not fighting with the Zoo management but only for what was due to be paid to workers.

Pretoria News