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Government condemns violent protests

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Government condemns violent protests

Government has condemned the disruptive actions of some protesting workers at some government facilities.

“The government condemns the disruptive actions displayed yesterday and continuing today by some members of trade unions at some health and other government facilities around the country,which affected access to urgently required health care by citizens whose right to life and health is constitutional,” the Department of Public Service and Administration said on Friday.

The department said government is concerned about protests that are currently ongoing in the country and are taking on a nature that is not reflective of defending democracy and human rights.

NEHAWU

NEHAWU (PICTURE SUPPLIED)

“Government welcomes the call by the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) for all parties involved in the public service wage negotiations to return to the bargaining council to continue with negotiations.

“Government reiterates that no one has the authority to block anyone from accessing healthcare and other government facilities in the country.

“The right to have access to healthcare services is a basic human right guaranteed by the Constitution. The government acknowledges the right of labour to raise their concerns, however, the infringement on the basic human right goes against the law and will not be tolerated,” the department said.

Government has called upon all parties to remain committed to the process of the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council Collective Agreement to arrive at a solution that serves the best interests of the country.

“Government is alive to the challenges affecting society; however, we cannot use violence to make our voices heard. Our democracy offers many avenues for people or communities to address any grievance. All stakeholders involved are urged to engage in discussion and resolve issues peacefully.

“Whilst the right to protest is guaranteed in the Constitution, it has to be done so within the confines of the law. Any deviation from the law, such as illegal protests, destruction of property, infringement of the rights of others, intimidation, violence, and damage to infrastructure, amongst others are viewed as criminal activities,” the department said.

The department said the principle of no work no pay will apply to public servants taking part in the strike during working hours. – SAnews

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