Cosatu unions march for better public sector wages

Cosatu says it wants to exact pressure on negotiators to improve the offer of just below 6 percent.

Around 10,000 people march through the Pretoria city centre calling for better wages in the public sector on 23 April 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

PRETORIA - Around 10,000 people were marching through the Pretoria city centre on Thursday morning calling for better wages in the public sector.

The workers belong to seven Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) unions which are threatening to go on strike if government doesn't improve its 5,8 percent wage offer. The unions are demanding a 10 percent hike plus a R1,500 housing allowance.

The protestors, all of who a public servants in Gauteng, marched past the National treasury, which the workers accused of blocking an improved wage offer.

The federation's Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile says the protest action was only a warning.

"This is just a warning to government, of something more that is still to come. If they don't listen now, all hell is going to break loose."

Cosatu's national leadership is also attending and iss expected to address the crowed later in the afternoon.

Some of the posters being displayed read, "Forward with inquiry into public health spending".

The significant turnout is Cosatu's strongest show force since the start of the talks, which it has described as unprecedented.

The march will end at the Public Service Department.