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Protesters disrupt MPs’ work on minimum wage bill

Tables and chairs were overturned, and documents sent flying as parliamentary protection staff scuffled with the unionists before ejecting them from the meeting.

FILE: Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Chaos broke out at a meeting of Parliament’s Labour Committee on Wednesday after protesters tried to disrupt lawmakers’ work on the National Minimum Wage Bill.

EWN has been told the group of protesters wore South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) T-shirts and brandished placards.

The union is fiercely opposed to the proposed R20 an hour minimum wage.

Tables and chairs were overturned, and documents sent flying as parliamentary protection staff scuffled with the unionists before ejecting them from the meeting.

Labour committee member Democratic Alliance MP Michael Bagraim says Parliamentary Protection Services were called in after the rowdy group of about 10 protesters refused requests to be quiet and started singing and dancing.

“Then, as parliamentary security tried to usher them out they started fighting.”

Bagraim says the chaos ensued.

“Papers, tables and chairs were being thrown around, and all the recording equipment was thrown on the floor.”

In a statement, committee chairperson Sharome Van Schalkwyk says the incident was “unfortunate” but will not stop work on processing the National Minimum Wage Bill.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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