The Citizen | By Marizka Coetzer | 23 Nov 2022 – City Press
The unions have threatened to intensify their demonstrations.
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) and Saftu members outside the department of National Treasury in Tshwane, 22 November 2022, for government’s implementation of a 3% wage hike across the board. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
Some streets of Tshwane turned red yesterday after public servants returned to hand over their second memorandum of demands to National Treasury after the first was not answered.
Total shutdown threat
The unions warned the government if the memorandum fell on deaf ears again, it might result in a total shutdown on 2 December.
Earlier this month, the Public Servants Association members marched to the National Treasury demanding a 10% increase.
Yesterday they were joined by members of the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers; the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union; Police Prisons and Civil Rights Union; SA Policing Union; Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA; and Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA.
Another chance to respond before intensifying strike
Public servants have given the government – which initially implemented a 3% pay hike – another chance to respond before intensifying their strike action. Minister of Labour and Employment Thulas Nxesi, who recently announced a revised government offer of 7.5%, signed the memorandum as the marchers booed him.
The unions have threatened to intensify their demonstrations and were even considering marches to ministers’ homes, boycotting municipal rates, shutting down hospitals and taking police officers off the streets.
Cimate Justice Coalition
On the same day, the Climate Justice Coalition also marched to the National Treasury to demand the cancellation of coal contracts at Eskom, rejection of tariff hikes, clean energy and climate justice.
An employee in the finance department, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had to return to the streets because the government left them no choice.
“We haven’t had an increase in three years, then they shush us with an additional amount of R1 400 and then they want it to take it away,” she said.
“Everything is going up, medical aid, living costs except our salaries. They gave us 3%, hoping we will shut up.”