Minister condemns violence in strike action
By Nomava Nobumba
28 July 2009
Labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana has condemned acts of violence characterised in the recent nation wide strike by municipal workers.
The supposedly peaceful wage increment demonstrations deteriorated into chaos as scores of marchers were seen causing havoc.
Looting, harassing street vendors and spilling refuse on the streets in most of the country’s major cities took shape yesterday.
The ministerial spokesperson Mzobanzi Jikazana says the minister asks what does violence and damage to property got to do with strike.
“The minister calls on all those involved in these unlawful actions to immediately observe discipline as they are demonising the real concerns of the majority of the workers. Violence can only harden attitudes,” said Jikazana.
He says the minister said the violent behaviour of a few people was not only tarnishing whatever genuine grievances that they had, but was also undermining the very good cause of their right to strike.
The strike is expected to continue today while the municipal workers are still considering a new offer made by the South African Local Government Association.