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SAFTU strike monitored closely

Written by Hlengiwe Ngobese

Phumeza Tsevu is proud to have exercised her democratic right by being part of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) march which was taking place across the country.
Citizens have a guaranteed right to peaceful protest under the Constitution.Thousands of workers took part in the SAFTU march in the Durban CBD.

Tsevu works at a dairy company in Durban and said she is hopeful that her demands will be heard after taking part in the march.

"As a merchandiser my job is to pack stock on the shelves but l end up being an all-rounder by cleaning the fridges counting stock but at the end of the month l get R2500. We have kids and families to support we can’t live on this amount.”

Tsevu was one of the 12000 protesters who marched peacefully in the Durban CBD while being closely watched by the SA Police Service.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said there were no incidents of violence or looting reported and the marchers had already started to disperse by the late afternoon.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the march went smoothly with law enforcement agencies monitoring about 11000 protesters.

“The marchers have already handed over their memorandum at the Chamber of Mines and the Department of Health,” said Brigadier Peters.

In the Western Cape Brigadier Novela Potelwa said no incidents of crime or violence were reported during the protest and marchers were making their way home.

Earlier, law enforcement agencies across the country told Vuk’uzenzele that the SAFTU march had proceeded peacefully. SAFTU was protesting against new labour laws and the introduction of the national minimum wage with marches taking place in various parts of the country.  

Government Communication Information System acting Director-General, Phumla Williams called on all those participating in the marches across the various provinces to refrain from violence, destruction of property and intimidation.

“The rights of people who do not want to participate in the marches must be respected. When marches deviate from the intended cause and becomes characterised by violence, looting and civil-disobedience –it is less likely to produce democratic progress.”