Patients seeking medical care were turned away from some hospitals across KZN, Gauteng, Eastern and Western Cape.
This is mostly due to the Public Sector wage strike which is building momentum across the country amidst the looming National Shutdown which is planned for the 20th of March.
NEHAWU has approached the Labour Appeal Court to appeal against the decision to enforce the interdict against their protest action which was granted by the Labour Court to the Department of Public Service and Administration.
In Cape Town, police intervened after a scuffle broke out after a member of the public who was queuing for service at the Department of Home Affairs called protestors names.
NEHAWU served the Department with a notice to strike on the 24th of February after wage negotiations deadlocked. The Department offered a 4.7% increase while the unions demanded between 10-12%
Provincial General Secretary of Nehawu, Baxolise Mali said, “Today we have escalated matters”. He said hospitals including Khayelitsha Day Hospital and Somerset Hospital had closed, and the offices of Home Affairs and Labour were closed. “SASSA offices will close soon for social grants,” he said.
Mali said workers were angry at a statement by acting Public Service Minister Thulas Nxesi who had described the strike as reckless.
“The acting minister called people reckless and said they need to go back to work … go back to work on what basis? Come with an offer: we are willing to negotiate.”
“It is reckless for the government to impose salaries on people. It is reckless for the government to expect the people who have been praised during the time of Covid for having to work hard in very difficult conditions to serve our people to get peanuts.”
“The ‘no work no pay’ principle is not a new thing. Let them deduct the money, we are used to poverty. “