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Thousands of workers join Saftu march against minimum wage

Organisers say they are overwhelmed by the turnout of the Joburg leg of the strike, given that Saftu only applied for a permit from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department for 7,500 marchers to take part.

Saftu members protest against the national minimum wage on 25 April 2018. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has handed over its first memorandum in Johannesburg to a representative of Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Saftu members have gone on strike over proposed labour law amendments, which include the minimum wage bill.

Thousands of workers will also make their way to the Chamber of Mines where the next memorandum will be handed over. The large group is then expected to march to the Health and Labour departments as well.

It is part of a national strike called by trade union federation Saftu against the proposed minimum wage of R20 an hour

Organisers say they are overwhelmed by the turnout of the Joburg leg of the strike, given that Saftu only applied for a permit from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department for 7,500 marchers to take part.

But that figure has been reliably pushed up much higher with thousands lining the streets.

Numsa’s Karl Cloete says they expected the national bus strike to delay transport for those attending but it has had minimal impact.

Workers here are singing and holding up placards criticizing government, especially President Cyril Ramaphosa for his plans to amend labour laws.

In Cape Town, the demonstration is gathering momentum, with hundreds of protesters gathered in Keizegracht Street.

People are lining the streets with placards saying "stay away, defend our constitutional right to strike" and "reject slavery wages."

They’ll take their grievances to the City of Cape Town’s head offices before making their way to Parliament.

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