Government calls for calm during planned marches on Wednesday

The spokesperson of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Patrick Craven.
The spokesperson of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Patrick Craven.

Government has urged those taking part in the planned marches set to take place on Wednesday to refrain from violence.

“We call 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 become characterised by violence‚ looting and civil disobedience‚ it is less likely to produce democratic progress‚” said acting GCIS director Phumla Williams.

Government called on the conveners of the march to ensure that chaos does not erupt around parliament‚ as it is a national key point‚ and the highest law-making arm of the state.

The same sentiments should be applied to other areas across the country where members plan to gather‚ Williams said.

Government appealed to all unions and those participating in the march to allow law enforcement agencies the space to work and safeguard properties in line with the Regulation of Gatherings Act‚ 1993.

“Law enforcement has a duty to protect and ensure the safety and security of all people in South Africa. The law enforcement agencies have a Constitutional obligation to protect and ensure all citizens are and feel safe in South Africa‚” added Williams.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu)‚ its affiliates and allies in civil society are embarking on a general strike to protest the national minimum wage and amendments to the labour law.

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