Ramaphosa warns striking workers after deadly protests

President Cyril Rama­phosa says he is concerned about the ongoing wage strike by public workers that is affecting essential services in the country.

The strike by the National Edu­cation, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) started on Monday, as the workers demanded a 10 per cent pay hike after reject­ing the government’s 3 per cent increase.

At least four people have died as the workers reportedly prevented patients from entering numerous hospitals and clinics in the country, Health Minister, Joe Phaahla, said.

The president said on Thursday that while workers have a right to strike, acts of violence would not be tolerated.

“We are all concerned about the violent nature of the strike that is under way. Workers in our coun­try have the right to freedom of association and to strike. But that right is not absolute,” President Ramaphosa said.

He said that the “no work, no pay” principle should apply to essential services workers who go on strike.

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has dismissed claims that his new cabinet is bloated and says he is committed to re­structuring the government.

Opposition Democratic Alli­ance (DA) leader, John Steenhu­isen, on Thursday asked President Ramaphosa in Parliament if it was fair for ministers to be “living like rock stars” while ordinary citizens suffer.

“(They have) 98 mansions worth over a billion rand, free generators, free electricity and high-end luxury vehicles,” Mr Steenhuisen said.

“Well, I don’t know about rock stars,” the president responded.

Mr Ramaphosa denied the opposition leader’s claims that South Africa had the largest cab­inet across the globe, saying the country was “basically in line with others”.


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