NATJOINTS on standby during strike season

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) says it is closely monitoring all strike and protest action underway in the country from their joint operational centre in Pretoria.
The Chairperson of the NATJOINTS, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has indicated that the situation across South Africa is relatively calm.
He has, however, noted sporadic incidents of intimidation and a few instances of strikers carrying weapons, which is against the law.
Strike Action“We can give our assurance that the security forces, Government departments and agencies, as well as our partners in the private sector, are satisfied that we are dealing with the situation in a calm and measured manner,” Mawela said on Wednesday 11 September.
Mawela reminded those who organise and convene protest actions and demonstrations to ensure that the participants exercise their democratic right to gather and strike within the confines of the law.
“The member departments of the NATJOINTS respect the right of every person to assemble with other persons and express their views freely whilst enjoying the protection of the State. At the same time we expect such rights to be exercised peacefully and without infringing on the rights of others.”
The NATJOINTS has activated its provincial components and where necessary, besides the important monitoring role, has ensured that contingency plans are in place to deal with any eventuality in a focused and multi-disciplinary manner.
Mawela added that experienced detectives are on standby to investigate and work on cases where protesters break the law.
September sees a series of sectoral wage contracts come up for discussion, kicking off South Africa’s so-called “strike season”, which often sees both the employed and the jobless take to the streets.
Various economic sectors in South Africa, including mining, construction and automobile sectors are currently engaged in wage negotiations.
With the country experiencing tough economic times and unions emboldened by hefty wage increases granted last year to end strikes, analysts have predicted difficult months ahead.
Last week, Cabinet also appealed to strikers to refrain from violence.

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