After what started off as a peaceful early morning following two days of unrest, disgruntled South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) members again took to the streets of the Tshwane central business district on Wednesday, blockading roads and upending trash bins to press for higher wages.
The workers have been on the rampage this week, strewing the streets with garbage and using municipal buses and trucks to block some streets in a bid to force the municipality into giving them an 18% salary increase.
The Tshwane city council obtained a court order declaring the strike illegal, but that has not deterred the employees.
They resumed their street protest on Wednesday, even as the city of Tshwane and Samwu representatives were expected to hold discussions at the South African Local Government Bargaining Council in Centurion.
Minibus taxis ferrying commuters were forced to turn back at blocked intersections, while businesses operating along Madiba street closed shop as they saw the rampaging crowd approach.
Earlier, mayoral spokesperson Omogolo Taunyane confirmed talks would occur at the bargaining council while lambasting striking workers.
“The strike undermines the rule of law, especially after the city obtained an interdict against the action,” she said.
Samwu regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane said a late-night meeting with the city council had not yielded results, and the union looked forward to airing its views at the bargaining council.
– African News Agency