Accusing Cyril Ramaphosa of short changing South African workers, hundreds of workers took to the streets on Wednesday, draped in red and mocking the president.
The call was heeded by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu). The workers gathered in Newton, Johannesburg for a nationwide strike against a proposed R20 per hour minimum wage.
A snide indirect attack on Ramaphosa was evident in some marchers hoisting up replicas of the buffalo, one of South Africa’s big five animals. Ramaphosa, formerly a wealthy businessman, purchased a buffalo for R2 million.
Those who took part in the strike were mostly members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and other unions affiliated to Saftu.
There was a small presence that joined the crowd of the militant opposition Economic Freedom Fighters. Openly pledging their support to the Saftu march was the “red berets”, as they are popularly known.
Johannesburg, Polokwane, Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town are the provinces in which Saftu, which is a rival of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, organised the nationwide strike.
The destinations of the strike will be at various government departments and offices of provincial premiers, where memorandums are expected to be handed over.
The general strike comes as commuters grapple with a protracted bus drivers' strike that has entered a second week.
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