The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says it has obtained an interim court order interdicting the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) members from picketing in places other than those specified in the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) Picketing Rules.
SARS says the picketing at its head office in Pretoria and the Alberton campus by its striking employees on Thursday was illegal.
Around 10 000 workers affiliated to the two trade unions have embarked on a nationwide strike, over a wage dispute.
Workers are demanding an 11.4% wage increase across the board, while the revenue service is offering 7%.
On Thursday, 33 out of 53 walk-in branches were closed as a result of the strike, with the rest functioning on a diminished capacity.
Impact on SA borders
Protesting SARS officials, at the Beit Bridge port of entry outside Musina in Limpopo, believe the protest action at the border impacted negatively on revenue collection in the country.
All employees withdrew their services and only managers are manning service desks.
The queues of vehicles that had formed in the morning have now subsided. Workers union Nehawu spokesperson at Beit Bridge, Katlego Seseani says they will continue with their protest.
“Operations are not running normally. The trucks that you are seeing here … Beitbridge is normally a very active border that the movement of trucks wouldn’t be what you are seeing here today. Export and import are highly affected. The people that are helping inside are from the management of SARS. We don’t know how long they are planning to do this because the workers are here outside. We are asking something simple 11.4% – can the employer give it to us please.”
PSA shopsteward Moshieni Montsha says they are ready to protest until their demands are met.
“It will go ahead as and when we are called to the the negotiating table. The operation is very slow but as you can see we are not disrupting anything, but the majority of our employees are not working today. So yesterday as you can see the line is very very long. It’s about a hundred trucks waiting to be processed I’ve learnt to believe that the grade seven are working which is more like management.”
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