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Public workers down tool in South Africa

Public workers in South Africa have embarked on strike after wage talks with the government ended in deadlock.

The workers are demanding a 6.5% increment.

Union members including nurses, immigration workers and some police officers picketed the National Treasury offices in Pretoria carrying black placards.

In Johannesburg municipal employees marched to the city mayor’s office.

A municipal worker, Mish Mdlalose said ”in the past two years we have been affected by Covid, costs of food are increasing on daily basis but you find that the same workers are still earning the same salary in the past five years”.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said during his October mini-budget speech that government could only afford an average wage increase of 3.3%.

The increase weighs below South Africa’s inflation which peaked at 7.8% in July.

Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu